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A Reader's Guide To The 2017 Montana Book Festival - 9/27-10/1 - Missoula

September 21, 2017View for printing

Jane Smiley's Pulitzer-winning A Thousand Acres was written more than 25 years ago and takes place in Iowa, yet it feels perfectly relevant to this year's Montana Book Festival

That's because it's a book about family farms in America, and the pain bound up in generations of a family that's born to love each other, but fails to meet each other's expectations. Sound familiar? It's a classic theme of many great Montana stories, and it's also about family secrets, which means it will be relevant in any time or place.

This year's Montana Book Festival carries on in a long tradition of stories anyone can relate to. As in the past, the five-day event (Sept. 27-Oct. 1) includes author panels, readings and advice about publishing. The headliners are Smiley and Donald Ray Pollock, an Ohio writer who spent a good portion of his life as a blue-collar worker before he picked up a pen.

The festival also celebrates some of Missoula's writerly roots, including the 30th anniversary of The Last Best Place anthology, the encyclopedic compendium of Montana literature compiled by editors Annick Smith and William Kittredge.

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