Image of page two from Montana Trade Jargon, Mill and Smelter.

 

 

 

The manuscript collection of the Ivan Doig Archive contains original copies, revisions, yellow notepads, research, and reviews pertaining to Doig's 16 published works: This House of Sky, Winter Brothers, The Sea Runners,  English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, Ride With Me, Mariah Montana, Heart Earth, Bucking the Sun, Mountain Time, Prairie Nocturne, The Whistling Season, The Eleventh Man, Work Song, The Bartender's Tale, Sweet Thunder, and Last Bus to Wisdom. This collection also contains Doig's speeches, an unfinished novel titled Great Divide, short talks, readings, and various essays.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Book Manuscripts


 

This House of Sky Book Cover Image of the the original clamshell.

This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (1978)

Ivan Doig grew up along the rugged rims of the Rocky Mountains in Montana with his father, Charlie, and his grandmother, Bessie Ringer. His life was formed among the sheepherders and characters of small-town saloons and valley ranches as he wandered beside his restless father. The prose of this memoir is as resonant of the landscape of the American West as it is of those moments in memory which determine our lives... more

 

 


 

 

Winter Brothers Manuscript

Winter Brothers (1980)

This literary tapestry of two distinctive voices began with the author's discovery of a trove of unpublished diaries by James Gilchrist Swan, one of the first white settlers of the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Northwest coast. Swan's voluminous diary pages, from 1862 to 1898, are a source of vivid detail from an unconventional life lived in the rough port towns and outposts among the seagoing Makah and Haida tribes... more

 

 

 


 

The Sea Runners image of the first page of the Manuscript

The Sea Runners (1982)

In 1853, in the farthest outpost of the Czar's empire, four Scandinavian indentured servants—seven-year men no better off than slaves—resolve to escape from Russian Alaska. They steal an Indian canoe and point it south toward Astoria, in Oregon, twelve hundred miles away... more

 

 

 


 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

English Creek (1984)

The days of arriving summer, the rangeland green at last across northern Montana, the hundred-mile horizon of the Rocky Mountains, form the backdrop for Jick McCaskill's coming-of-age late in the Depression. Jick is fourteen and able now to share in the full life of family and town and ranch in the sprawling Two Medicine country. His father is a roustabout range rider turned forest ranger; his mother, from a local ranching family, is a practical woman with a peppery wit... more.

 

 

 


 

 

Dancing at the Rascal Fair Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Dancing at the Rascal Fair (1987)

From its opening on the quays of a Scottish port in 1889 to its close on a windswept Montana homestead three decades later, this novel is a passionate and authentic chronicle of the American experience. When we meet Angus McCaskill and Rob Barclay—emigrants, "both of us nineteen and green as the cheese of the moon and trying our double-damnedest not to show it"—they are setting off for a new life in a new land, in America, in Montana, "those words with their ends open"... more.

 

 

 


 

 

Ride With Me, Mariah Montana Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Ride with me, Mariah Montana (1990)

"We are a family that can be kind of stiffbacked," Jick McCaskill reflects with a characteristic sense of life's complications as he narrates this final novel of the classic Two Medicine trilogy. In English Creek Ivan Doig gave us the West of the l930's; inDancing at the Rascal Fair, the alluring Rocky Mountain frontier of the late nineteenth century... more.

 

 

 


 

 

Heart Earth Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Heart Earth (1993)

With its piercing look backward to a family and its fate, Heart Earth is the companion to Ivan Doig's earlier classic memoir, This House of Sky. Against the backdrop of World War Two and the American land before and since, the saga of the Doigs and their journey from a defense housing project in boomtime Arizona to the high country of their Montana origins builds with the drama only real life can hold... more

 

 

 


 

 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Bucking the Sun (1996)

It is 1938. A Ford truck is pulled from the Missouri River at Fort Peck Dam. Two unnamed members of the contentious Duff family are claimed by the river, and we follow the thread of their fate, eager to learn who, and why, as the clan pushes on against the circumstances... more.

 

 

 


 

 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Mountain Time (1999)

Set in Seattle, San Francisco, Montana, and Alaska, Mountain Time is the story of three intense relationships: between father and son, between sisters, and between lovers. These oldest quandaries of kinship and love are framed within the backdrop of highest places, the breathtaking mountain country that defines the American West... more.

 

 

 


 

 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

Prairie Nocturne (2003)

Wesley Williamson is the business and political scion of a cattle-empire family. Wes--"incurably married," in Susan's phrase for him--was forced out of a governor's race, and his public career ended, by foes within his own party who uncovered his affair with Susan. One night in the mid-1920s, he says he has a singing pupil for her, whose tutelage he will pay... more

 

 

 


 

 

The Whistling Season Image of the first page of a manuscript.

The Whistling Season (2006)

And so begins the unforgettable season that deposits the noncooking, nonbiting, ever-whistling Rose Llewellyn and her font-of-knowledge brother, Morris Morgan, in Marias Coulee along with a stampede of homesteaders drawn by the promise of the Big Ditch -- a gargantuan irrigation project intended to make the Montana prairie bloom... more.

 


 

 


 

 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

The Eleventh Man (2008)

Driven by the memory of a fallen teammate, TSU's 1941 starting lineup went down as legend in Montana football history, charging through the season undefeated. Two years later, the "Supreme Team" is caught up in World War II. Ten of them are scattered around the globe in the war's lonely and dangerous theaters. The eleventh man, Ben Reinking, has been plucked from pilot training by a military propaganda machine hungry for heroes... more.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Work Song Image of the first page of a manuscript.

Work Song (2010)

“If America was a melting pot, Butte would be its boiling point," observes Morrie Morgan, the itinerant teacher, walking encyclopedia, and inveterate charmer last seen leaving a one-room schoolhouse in Marias Coulee, the stage he stole in The Whistling Season. A decade later Morrie is back in Montana, as the beguiling narrator of Work Song... more.

 

 

 

 


 

 

English Creek Image of the first page of the the original clamshell.

The Bartender's Tale (2012)

The Bartender's Tale is the story of a father and son left on their own in a shifting world--a tale in itself as old as kinship, but ever new in the way "the bachelor saloonkeeper with a streak of frost in his black pompadour and the inquisitive 11year-old boy who had been an accident between the sheets" go about life in the small Montana town of Gros Ventre in 1960... more.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Image of a page within the manuscript for Sweet Thunder

Sweet Thunder (2013)

The lure of the American West, this time in the form of a quirky bequest, once again draws Morris Morgan to that “Richest Hill on Earth” and the brawling city of Butte. Morrie and his bride, Grace, alight back into the cauldron of trouble between miners and the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, the Wall Street giant that has made Montana its fiefdom... more

 

 

 


 

 

Image of first page of the Last Bus to Wisdom Manuscript

Last Bus to Wisdom (2015)

Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old’s imagination. But when Gram has... more