Winner of the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, Mary Clearman Blew is back with a new kind of Western story in her novel, Sweep Out the Ashes (Bison Books, 2019). Set in 1970s Verailles, Montana, it reveals that what we … Continue reading New from Mary Clearman Blew
Read the beginning of Chapter 1 from This Is Not the Ivy League: A Memoir by Mary Clearman Blew:
"In the spring of 1944 my mother and father borrowed more money than they had ever seen and purchased the old home ranch on Spring Creek, in central Montana, that had been my great-grandfather’s 1882 homestead. My father would be thirty-one in a few weeks, my mother had just turned thirty. I was four years old, my sister a toddler of eighteen months. We had been living on an alkali ranch in the sagebrush, down on the Judith River, and the move meant hay meadows and fresh water and good grazing for the cattle on the slopes of the mountains that overlooked the creek drainage, together with all the family associations with place, which even in 1944 were becoming emblematic. My great-grandfather had been one of the earliest homesteaders in central Montana, and it seemed that every shale hill and coulee, bend of the creek or grove of cottonwood trees, had its name and its position in the landscape of the family narrative.