Episode Thirty-Three – Shann Ray and John Stands in Timber
We’re happy to introduce a new co-host in this episode, as Montana Book Award winner Charles Finn (On a Benediction of Wind) joins Russell Rowland in a conversation with their old friend Shann Ray. Shann has published several books in a wide variety of genres, including American Copper and his excellent short story debut, American Masculine. As you can probably guess from these titles, Shann frequently writes about various aspects of American culture, particularly in relationship to men, and the book we chose for this discussion is a collection called Blood Fire Vapor Smoke, which is about as eclectic a collection as the title suggests. Shann explores many powerful themes in this collection, particularly the consequences of violence in relationships.
And we have started a slightly different approach to our podcast, rather than pairing each author up with a book from an author that is no longer with us, we’re asking them to choose a book or writer that has had a powerful influence on their work. And Shann chose a beautiful oral history that was published in 1967 called Cheyenne Memories. John Stands in Timber was a noted historian among the Northern Cheyenne tribe, and a woman named Margot Liberty had the foresight to record his story and publish it. Sadly, John died just a few months before the book came out.
Breakfast in Montana is sponsored by Isle of Books in Bozeman, Montana, and The Bookstore in Dillon, Montana. We have also received generous support from the Montana Arts Council, as well as from many of our listeners. If we talk about a book you’d like to order, we strongly encourage you to order them through these fine bookstores by clicking on the links below.