Acclaimed Montana Author Makes Visit to Hockaday

By Beacon Staff

Montana author Alan Weltzien will be in Kalispell on Wednesday, March 11 to do a reading from his novel, “The Norman Maclean Reader,” and his new memoir at the Hockaday Museum in Kalispell. The event is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the cost is $10.

Here’s a bio of Weltzien and more information on his work:

Weltzien is an English professor at the University of Montana Western (UMW) in Dillon, MT. He earned his masters and Ph.D at the University of Virginia and attended Whitman College as undergraduate. Weltzien is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships (Poland, Bulgaria) and a University of Montana Faculty Exchange Award (Australia). In the course of his life, he spent his childhood and young adulthood in Washington state, and went on to reside in three regions of the U.S. and three countries abroad.

Weltzien is known for his scholarly anthologies of writers Rick Bass (2001) and John McPhee (2003), both with the University of Utah Press. At UMW he teaches and writes about a wealth of contemporary Montana and western American writers.

Most recently, Weltzien received outstanding reviews for The Norman Maclean Reader, a collection of miscellaneous essays, selected letters to four valued friends, and one interview. Published eighteen years’ after Maclean’s death, it includes six pieces never before published, five of them, chapters from his first, incomplete book about G. A. Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn. The Reader is collecting excellent notices, first in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. It has been generously reviewed in The Wall Street Journal (11 October 2008), The Financial Times (London), BBC Programme 4, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times (30 November 2008), and The Seattle Times (7 December 2008).

Weltzien’s newest work is a memoir, A Father and an Island: Reflections on Loss (Lewis-Clark Press, 2008), which profiles the loss of a father to an incurable disease and younger days shared with this father on Camano Island, Washington. Writer Mary Clearman Blew says of it, “In this moving tribute to his father and his family’s home on a Puget Sound island, Alan Weltzien returns us to a time when summers were glorious and children played all day on beaches that were still unexploited and unrestricted—a pleasure to read.”