Ivan Doig
Ivan Doig is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 novelist. He was born in White Sulphur Springs, Montana
White Sulphur Springs, Montana
White Sulphur Springs is a city in and the county seat of Meagher County, Montana, United States. The population was 984 at the 2000 census.The center of population of Montana is located in White Sulphur Springs.-Geography:...

 to a family of homesteaders and ranch hands. After the death of his mother Berneta, on his sixth birthday, he was raised by his father Charles "Charlie" Doig and his grandmother Elizabeth "Bessie" Ringer. After several stints on ranches, they moved to Dupuyer, Pondera County, Montana
Pondera County, Montana
-National protected area:*Lewis and Clark National Forest *Rocky Mountain Front Conservation Area -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 6,424 people, 2,410 households, and 1,740 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile . There were 2,834...

 in the north to herd sheep close to the Rocky Mountain Front
Rocky Mountain Front
The Rocky Mountain Front is an area extending over 100 miles from the central regions of the U.S. state of Montana to southern Alberta, Canada. Here, the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains and Canadian Prairie in an abrupt elevation rise of between 4,000 to 5,000 feet...


After his graduation from Valier high school, Doig attended Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

, where he received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in journalism. He later earned a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

, writing his dissertation about John J. McGilvra
John J. McGilvra
John J. McGilvra was a prominent lawyer and judge in late 19th century Seattle, Washington. Rev. H.K. Hines, D.D. in An Illustrated History of the State of Washington described him as "the oldest member of the legal profession in Seattle, Washington, both in years and practice" and "the father of...

 (1827-1903). He now lives with his wife Carol Doig, née Muller, a university professor of English, in Seattle, Washington.

Before Doig became a novelist, he wrote for newspapers and magazines as a free-lancer and worked for the United States Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...


Much of his fiction is set in the Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 country of his youth. His major theme is family life in the past, mixing personal memory and regional history. The first three Montana novels—English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, and Ride with Me, Mariah Montana—form the so-called "McCaskill trilogy", covering the first centennial of Montana's statehood from 1889 to 1989. As the western landscape and people play an important role in his fiction, he has been hailed as the new dean of western literature, a worthy successor to Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
Wallace Earle Stegner was an American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, often called "The Dean of Western Writers"...


External links

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