Ivan Doig

Lyrical prose and engrossing narrative from a purveyor of tales told in the vernacular.

Ivan Doig “If America was a melting pot, Butte would be its boiling point,” notes Morrie, the protagonist of Ivan Doig’s most recent book, Work Song, which is peppered with stories of miners and homesteaders, a multi-ethnic stew of people creating and being created by the American West. Jane Ciabattari, in her review says “Doig, who was raised in White Sulphur Springs, gets Butte right, beginning with the rhythms of the language.” Here, Doig shares his appetite for lyrical prose and engrossing narrative with three books he can’t stop reading.

Books by Ivan Doig

Chronicle in Stone

By Ismail Kadare

“Kadare is one of the treasures recovered from the Cold War, a world-class poet-turned-novelist who, for most of his career, was sealed away behind the totalitarian boundaries of Albania. This tale of a boy who penetrates the life of raindrops and the tides of the World War II invaders of his beleaguered old city is a rare kind of lyrical magic.”

The All of It

By Jeannette Haien

“Seldom have secrets been as sweetly revealed as in this tale of a trouble-weary County Mayo priest and his most exemplary couple of parishioners, who, upon their deaths, are found not to have been what everyone assumed. Short but exhilarant of language, this is one that tugs not at the heart, but at the sinews of the heart, lines of unrequited love and gallant endurance.”

Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller

By Judith Thurman

“This vintage biography predates such Dinesen-based movies as Out of Africa and Babette’s Feast, yet it remains an exceedingly smart piece of work, cannily following the failed coffee grower and minor aristocrat Karen Blixen as she takes up pen and pen name and, in that breathtaking moment, finds a timeless voice and begins telling us not only of her life in Kenya, but also of the far reaches of her imagination in Winter’s Tales, Seven Gothic Tales, and Anecdotes of Destiny.”