The novel details the flood of 1964, the worst in Montana’s history, which claimed 31 lives—30 of whom were residents of the Blackfeet reservation. Fifty years later, veterinarian Alphonse Vallerone relives his efforts, on the day after the flood, to assist the devastated people and their animals. Through the eyes of Vallerone, Swift Dam chronicles the heart-rending drama of the Blackfeet Nation. It celebrates the land and the people who survive there, as they have survived throughout time—perilously.
“Sid writes with a dedicated sense of place and change,” wrote Jim Harrison. “Swift Dam is native lore from the poetic heart of Montana, a water manifesto.”
Gustafson is the author of two previous novels, Prisoners of Flight and Horses They Rode, a finalist for the High Plains Book Award. His short stories and poetry have been published in numerous anthologies, literary journals and magazines. He also has published several nonfiction books on animal medicine and horse behavior, as well as reporting on medical issues in horseracing for the New York Times.
The free event will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St. and will be followed by a book signing and reception. Elk River Books specializes in collectible outdoor, regional and Western history books, and provides a lively venue for southwest Montana’s unique literary community. For more information, call 333-2330.