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The Write Question
Program Website: http://mtpr.org/term/write-question-0
The Write Question is a weekly, half-hour program that explores
writing and publishing in the Western United States. Chérie
Newman, a producer with Montana
Public Radio, interviews writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
And, occasionally, a publisher or editor. The program includes readings
and information about the publishing process. The Write Question
receives funding from Humanities
Montana and the Montana Cultural Trust.
Against the backdrop of a glittering but brutal circus world, Last Chain On Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped The Big Top charts the history of elephants in America, the inspiring story of the Elephant Sanctuary and the spellbinding tale of a resilient elephant who defied the system even as she struggled to conquer her past, who never lost sight of the life she was meant to have. For decades, Billie crisscrossed the country, dazzling audiences as she performed breathtaking stunts. But behind the scenes she lived a life of misery: traveling in trucks, chained for hours on end, barely able to move, giving eight-minute performances under harsh lights and to the sounds of blaring music. And worse. The compelling story of Billie’s battle to reclaim her old self is a testament to the intelligence, emotional complexity and remarkable strength of all elephants, captive or free.
In a gripping memoir, Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, Bryce Andrews chronicles life on the remote, windswept Sun Ranch in southwest Montana, and his encounter with a wolf. Just over the border from Yellowstone National Park, the Sun holds giant herds of cattle and elk amid many predators—bears, mountain lions, and wolves. Andrews recounts marathon days and nights of building fences, riding, roping, and otherwise learning the hard business of caring for cattle, an initiation that changes him from an idealistic city kid into a skilled ranch hand. But when wolves suddenly begin killing the ranch’s cattle, Andrews has to shoulder a rifle, chase the pack, and do what he’d hoped he would never have to do.
After meeting at a boatman's bash on the Snake River, river runners Maddy and Dalt embark on a lifelong love affair. They marry on the banks of the Buffalo Fork, sure they'll live there the rest of their days. Forced by the economics of tourism to leave Wyoming, they start a new adventure, opening their own river business in Ashland, Oregon: Halfmoon Whitewater. They prosper there, leading rafting trips and guiding fishermen into the wilds of Mongolia and Russia. But when Maddy, laid low by dizzy spells, with a mono that isn't quite mono, both discovers she is pregnant and is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, they realize their adventure is just beginning. Driven by her irresistible voice, full of wit and humor and defiance, If Not For This is a love story like no other.
In her fourth nonfiction book, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller braids a multi-layered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the emotionally frozen landscape of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war-torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. A story of survival and madness, love and war, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of the author's family.