McGuane is a towering figure in American literature, having penned 10 novels, three screenplays and assorted collections of essays, spanning the breadth of the country from Key West to Montana. His writing has been critically acclaimed for more than four decades, and he counts among his many honors a Stegner Fellowship, Rosenthal Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western Literary Association. The New York Times hailed his early work as “a talent of Faulknerian potential.”
Known locally for his prowess as a fly-fisherman and his work with cutting horses, McGuane’s more recent books incorporate these pastimes. In a review of the 2010 novel, Driving on the Rim (which takes place in a thinly-disguised version of Livingston), the New York Times notes that McGuane is the only author who is a member both of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Cutting Horse Association.
In Crow Fair, McGuane’s Montana is full of difficult characters, prompting the Boston Globe to explain that these are “much more than just a collection of character studies of unlovable losers. There is an extraordinary range of human experience in this collection. … With his elegant and deceptively simple language and an uncanny insight into human foibles, McGuane proves in Crow Fair that he … is one of America’s best short-story writers of the last 50 years.
McGuane’s arrival in the Livingston area heralded a literary and artistic era that persists today: writers including Richard Brautigan, Jim Harrison and William “Gatz” Hjortsberg, actors Margot Kidder, Peter Fonda and Jeff Bridges, artist Russell Chatham and musician Warren Zevon, all can trace their Livingston roots to McGuane’s influence.
Tickets for the reading, which go on sale June 1, are $5, and are redeemable for $5 off the price of the book. The reading begins at 7 p.m. upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. in Livingston, and will be followed by a reception and book signing.