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May Book Signings

Elk River Books will host two authors for book signings on two Saturdays in May. Ron Franscell, author of ShadowMan: An Elusive Psycho Killer and the Birth of FBI Profiling, will visit the store on May 7, from 2 – 4 p.m., and James McVey, author of Loon Rangers, will visit on May 21, from 1 – 4 p.m. The public will be able to meet the authors, discuss their work and have books signed.

ShadowMan tells the entangled tales of a harrowing crime that occurred in Montana in 1973, and the introduction of sophisticated criminal profiling at the FBI, that led to the arrest of David Meirhofer, a murderer from the unlikely town of Manhattan.

Franscell is the author of 18 books, including international bestsellers The Darkest Night and Morgue: A Life in Death. His book reviews and essays have been published in The Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and others.

Loon Rangers follows the adventure of Mike Radke whose community service sends him on a common loon survey in the Adirondack Mountains, canoeing 100 lakes. The novel is at once humorous, provocative and darkly tragic, addressing two major issues of our time: species extinction and what it means to live in the Anthropocene.

McVey is the author of five books, including Loon Rangers, The Way Home: Essays on the Outside West and The Wild Upriver and Other Stories. He’s traveled widely and written about such places as Hawaii’s Na Pali coast, the Khumbu Valley of Nepal, the Aysen region of Patagonia, and the coral reefs of Cuba. His short stories and essays have appeared in Island, Frontieres, Divide, Sport Literate, Puckerbrush Review, Kinesis, Apostrophe, and Rolling Stock.

Megan Kate Nelson & Shane Doyle

Elk River Arts & Lectures teams up with Park County Environmental Council to present a celebration of Yellowstone National Park’s 150th anniversary, featuring Megan Kate Nelson, author of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, and Apsáalooke (Crow) educator and cultural advocate Shane Doyle on Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m. The free event will be held at the Shane Center’s Dulcie Theatre, 415 E. Lewis, and is made possible with the generous support of the Park County Community Foundation.

Saving Yellowstone puts the history of the world’s first national park in a wider historical context that includes national division, racial violence, railroad expansion and Indigenous resistance. It follows Yellowstone’s first surveyor, Ferdinand Hayden along with Sitting Bull, the Lakota leader who asserted his peoples’ claim to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Northwest.

“In Saving Yellowstone, Nelson has accomplished something truly pathbreaking, writes Carole Emberton, author of Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War. “She has written a new history of Reconstruction, one that shows how the exploration and conquest of the American West intersected with the ill-fated attempts to establish an interracial democracy in the South. A masterful storyteller, Nelson’s prose is as captivating as the landscapes she describes.”

Nelson is a writer and historian who has written about the Civil War, U.S. Western history, and American culture for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Preservation Magazine and Civil War Monitor. In addition to Saving Yellowstone, she is the author of The Three-Cornered War, Ruin Nation and Trembling Earth, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Doyle will speak about Yellowstone from an Indigenous perspective. He has been a leader on various local Native and environmental initiatives, including the Intertribal Teepee Village installation that will be part of official Yellowstone 150th anniversary events this summer. Doyle told Essential West Magazine, “What we’re hoping to accomplish with a teepee village is a presence for Native historians and tour guides so that they can speak to the tourists about their tribe’s history [in Yellowstone] and their continued presence.”

Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization with the mission of cultivating and celebrating the literary arts in Park County. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit elkriverarts.org.

Deirdre McNamer’s Aviary

Acclaimed Missoula author Deirdre McNamer will discuss her new novel, Aviary, at Livingston’s Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St., on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30, and a book signing and reception will follow.

Aviary, McNamer’s fifth novel, was named a “Best New Book to Read” by Refinery29. It revolves around the tenants of Pheasant Run, a four-story, dilapidated apartment building in Missoula, and the spiraling of secrets, crimes and desperate actions that rise from a mysterious case of arson.

A New York Times book review calls Aviary “a masterful novel illuminating the rich and hidden facets of human character among the residents of a senior residence in Montana,” and “a cleansing antidote to the last few years of political and cultural turmoil.”

The review concludes that McNamer “is a wordsmith of rare artistry who can take your breath away with a sentence.”

McNamer’s first novel, Rima in the Weeds, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award. One Sweet Quarrel and My Russian were both New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year, and Red Rover was named to the best books of the year lists of Artforum, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Rocky Mountain News.

She is a recipient of a 2015 Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council, and her essays, short fiction, reviews and reporting have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Outside. Formerly a visiting writer at Cornell University, the University of Oregon, the University of Alabama and Williams College, she taught in the University of Montana’s creative writing program from 1995 to 2020, and now holds a faculty position with the Bennington Writing Seminars’ MFA program.

An Evening with Richard Powers

Widely acclaimed novelist Richard Powers kicks off Elk River Arts & Lectures’ Spring 2022 Lecture Series with a discussion of his 2021 novel, Bewilderment at Livingston’s Elk Lodge, 130 S. 2nd St., on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Powers is the author of thirteen novels, including The Overstory and Orfeo, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Powers’ work draws on his extraordinary facility with science and technology, producing very human stories entangled with very specialized topics—genetics, artificial intelligence, musical composition, botany, and more. In his latest novel, Bewilderment, Powers delves into astrobiology and neuroscience.

“With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’ most intimate and moving novel.” Kirkus Reviews called Bewilderment a “taut ecological parable. … A touching novel that offers a vital message with uncommon sympathy and intelligence.”

The Los Angeles Times described Powers as “an essential member of the pantheon of writers who are using fiction to address climate change.”

Powers’ visit is made possible by the very generous support of the Park County Community Foundation. During his time in Livingston, Powers will visit a creating writing class at Park High School.

Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization with the mission of cultivating and celebrating the literary arts in Park County. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit elkriverarts.org.

Doug Peacock’s “Was It Worth It?”

Author, grizzly bear expert and wildlands advocate Doug Peacock will discuss his latest book, Was It Worth It?: A Wilderness Warrior’s Long Trail Home, at Livingston’s Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St., on Thursday, Apr. 7, at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30, and a book signing and reception will follow.

Peacock, recently announced as a recipient of the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, is the author of Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness, Walking It Off: A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness and several other books recounting his life-long passion for—and battles to defend—the world’s wildest spaces. A Green Beret medic during two tours in Vietnam and the real-life model for Edward Abbey’s George Washington Hayduke in The Monkey Wrench Gang, Peacock has published widely on wilderness issues: from grizzly bears to buffalo, from the Sierra Madres of the Sonoran Desert to the fjords of British Columbia, from the tigers of Siberia to the blue sheep of Nepal. He is a co-founder of Round River Conservation Studies, which has contributed to the preservation of 20 million acres of wilderness, and of Save the Yellowstone Grizzly, which works to protect and advocate for the bears of the lower 48 states.

Bestselling author and journalist Carl Hiaasen notes, “There’s a reason that Doug Peacock is a living legend on America’s environmental battlefront. He fights—and writes—with unmatched passion.”

In narratives of past adventures from around the world, Was It Worth It? is Peacock’s self-assessment of a live lived in and for the wild. It recounts thrilling journeys seeking tigers in Siberia, jaguars in Belize, and spirit bears in British Columbia, as well as rambles closer to home in Yellowstone National Park, Arizona’s Cabeza Prieta desert, and the braided rivers and wetlands of his Michigan childhood. The book asks the question that, according to the publisher, “many ponder in their twilight years: ‘Was it worth it?’ Peacock challenges readers of all ages to make certain that the answer to the question for their own life it ‘Yes!’”

In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called the book “A welcome and worthy addition to the growing canon of environmental literature.”

Rick McIntyre on Yellowstone Wolves

photo by Julie Argyle

Renowned wolf expert and author Rick McIntyre will discuss the fascinating sagas of some of Yellowstone’s most iconic wolves at Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St. in downtown Livingston, on Thursday, March. 24, at 7 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow.

McIntyre is the author of a series of Yellowstone wolf books, including The Redemption of Wolf 302, The Rise of Wolf 8 and The Reign of Wolf 21. All three books recount in vivid detail the stories of struggle and survival of the wolf packs that live in and around Yellowstone National Park, through the eyes of some of their most charismatic alphas. His outstanding works of science writing offer unparalleled insight into wolf behavior and Yellowstone’s famed wolf reintroduction project.

A Kirkus starred review notes, “Like Thomas McNamee, David Mech, Barry Lopez, and other literary naturalists with an interest in wolf behavior, McIntyre writes with both elegance and flair, making complex biology and ethology a pleasure to read.”

McIntyre has spent more than 40 years watching wolves in America’s national parks, 25 of those years in Yellowstone, where he has accumulated over 100,000 wolf sightings and educated the public about the park’s most famous wolves. He has spoken about the Yellowstone wolves with 60 Minutes, NPR, and CBC, and he is profiled extensively in Nate Blakeslee’s American Wolf and in international publications. He lives in Silver Gate, Montana.

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