Episode Six – Matt Pavelich and Dirck Van Sickle

For Episode Six, Aaron and Russell discuss two underappreciated Montana books. Matt Pavelich published a collection of short stories called Survivors Said, and it includes one of the best short stories either of us have ever read, called “Himself, Adrift.” This story, told from the point of view of Thomas Meagher, the second governor of the Montana Territory, explores the complicated life of this complicated man with wit and depth, in the language of his time.

The second book, Dirck Van Sickle’s Montana Gothic, is a weird and wonderful novel about a dentist who moves to Montana for a job as an undertaker in a very small town, only to discover that the previous undertaker had left this town unhinged by some of his actions. These two books explore the darker side of rural life in Montana with unparalleled literary grace and beautiful language.

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