A literary festival runs through it

July 6, 2015 | By | Comments (0)
Seeley Lake, Montana, was Norman Maclean's summer home for decades. Photograph by Tim Gage.

For decades, Norman Maclean spent his summers in Seeley Lake, Montana. Photograph by Tim Gage.

Forest fires, flyfishing, and family drama: Who could it be but Norman Maclean, the Big Sky bard? From July 10 through 14, a new festival called In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean takes over Seeley Lake, Montana, where Maclean and his father built a summer cabin in 1922.

Norman Maclean's 1992 classic. Photograph by Jeffery Cross

Maclean’s 1992 classic. Photograph by Jeffery Cross

It’s also where his classic novella A River Runs Through It is set. (Yes, the Brad Pitt film will be screened, for free, Saturday night at the Seeley Lake Fire Hall.) Along with tours of his favorite fishing holes on the Blackfoot, the river in question, and panel discussions of his works (novelist Pete Dexter will be the keynote speaker), there will be two daylong expeditions up to Mann Gulch, north of Helena, where the infamous 1949 conflagration Maclean investigated in his book Young Men and Fire killed 13, leaving behind hard lessons that we’re still absorbing. Tickets from $25.

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