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In his eighty-seven years, Norman Maclean played many parts: fisherman, logger, firefighter, scholar, teacher. But it was a role he took up late in life, that of writer, that won him enduring fame and critical acclaim?as well as the devotion of readers worldwide. Though the 1976 collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only book Maclean published in his lifetime, it was an unexpected success, and the moving family tragedy of the title novella?based largely on Maclean?s memories of his ...
In his eighty-seven years, Norman Maclean played many parts: fisherman, logger, firefighter, scholar, teacher. But it was a role he took up late in life, that of writer, that won him enduring fame and critical acclaim—as well as the devotion of readers worldwide. Though the 1976 collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only book Maclean published in his lifetime, it was an unexpected success, and the moving family tragedy of the title novella—based largely on Maclean’s memories of his childhood home in Montana—has proved to be one of the most enduring American stories ever written.
The Norman Maclean Reader is a wonderful addition to Maclean’s celebrated oeuvre. Bringing together previously unpublished materials with incidental writings and selections from his more famous works, the Reader will serve as the perfect introduction for readers new to Maclean, while offering longtime fans new insight into his life and career.
In this evocative collection, Maclean as both a writer and a man becomes evident. Perceptive, intimate essays deal with his career as a teacher and a literary scholar, as well as the wealth of family stories for which Maclean is famous. Complete with a generous selection of letters, as well as excerpts from a 1986 interview, The Norman Maclean Reader provides a fully fleshed-out portrait of this much admired author, showing us a writer fully aware of the nuances of his craft, and a man as at home in the academic environment of the University of Chicago as in the quiet mountains of his beloved Montana.
Various and moving, the works collected in The Norman Maclean Reader serve as both a summation and a celebration, giving readers a chance once again to hear one of American literature’s most distinctive voices.
Maclean (1902-1990), an English professor at the University of Chicago, did not establish himself as a writer until late in his life, but quickly gained national acclaim in 1989 for A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. His posthumous nonfiction account of doomed firefighters, Young Men and Fire, was also praised by critics. Excerpts from both of these works are in this anthology, skillfully edited by Weltzien, to provide a broad and chronological selection from nearly four decades of Maclean's writing. The book includes six previously unpublished pieces, five of them chapters from his uncompleted book on Custer, written between 1959 and 1963. Another standout piece is a 1986 interview in which Maclean ranges widely from the rhythms of prose, his own influences and his native state of Montana to creative writing, fly-fishing and publishers who rejected A River Runs Through It. Readers of the two earlier books will find, as Weltzien phrases it, "new biographical insights into one of the most remarkable and unexpected careers in American letters." (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Coming late to fiction writing, Maclean (1902-90) wrote his first book, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories , at age 70, after he had retired from a 45-year teaching career at the University of Chicago. That book, consisting of two novellas and a short story, brought rave reviews and even more acclaim after Robert Redford's film adaptation. This book introduces readers to Maclean's life and writing, collecting previously unpublished essays, stories, letters, and selections from his two books. Rooted in his native Montana, where he returned every summer to the cabin he had helped his father build, the man who emerges from these pages is funny, irreverent, and thoughtful. He was homeschooled until he was 11 and absorbed his father's lessons in writing lean, penetrating prose. Of particular interest are Maclean's letters, which give careful, insightful writing advice to friends and former students. This book will appeal to those who love fly-fishing, hunting, the Forest Service, and, above all, good writing.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
— Daniel Swift
— Tim Nulty
— Tom Wylie
"On every page . . . we hear Maclean's voice—a voice that tells us . . . that our well-ordered loves reside at the intersection of people we know and the places we share with them."
— Todd C. Ream
Introduction by O. Alan Weltzien
THE CUSTER WRITINGS
Edward S. Luce:
Commanding General (Retired),
Department of the Little Bighorn
From the Unfinished Custer Manuscript
Chapter 1: The Hill
Chapter 2: The Sioux
Chapter 3: The Cheyennes
Chapter 4: In Business
Last Chapter: Shrine to Defeat
A MACLEAN SAMPLER
"This Quarter I am Taking McKeon":
A Few Remarks on the Art of Teaching
"Billiards is a Good Game":
Gamesmanship and America's First Nobel Prize Scientist
Retrievers Good and Bad
Logging and Pimping and "Your Pal, Jim"
The Woods, Books, and Truant Officers
The Pure and the Good
On Baseball and Backpacking
From Young Men and Fire
Interview with Norman Maclean
Letters to Robert M. Utley, 1955-1979
Letters to Marie Borroff, 1949-1986
Letters to Nick Lyons 1976-1981
Letters to Lois Jansson, 1979-1981
Suggestions for Further Reading
Posted February 22, 2013
Posted June 20, 2009
Posted March 23, 2009
This book is a great summary of Maclean's writings. He had a clear, simple way of communicating his thoughts. This collection makes the reader wish that Maclean had started writing long before he retired just so we'd have more of his crisp dialog and dry wit to enjoy. I'd recommend this book to everyone, not just fly fishers because Maclean was far more than just a fly fisherman himselfWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.