With its powerful echoes of a family and its fate, Heart Earth is the fitting companion to Ivan Doig's classic memoir, This House of Sky. Against the backdrop of World War Two and the American land before and since, this remarkably told saga of the Doigs and their journey from a defense housing project in boomtime Arizona to the high country of their Montana origins builds with the drama only real life can hold. Here we see an adventurous mother miraculously back again in the evocative lines of her wartime letters after all else of her. . . has been only farthest childscapes, half-rememberings thinned by so many years since ; a resonant father who gives off the tense hum of a wire in the wind as he strives, in memorably go-getting fashion, to make his family secure against chronic odds; and a child, touchy and thorough, doctrinaire and dreamy, who early learns to infiltrate the drama-filled world of grown-ups by standing back and prowling with the ears. In that last winter of the war, she knew to use pointblank ink, begins this unusual blend of heartfelt memoir and narrative skills. As ever in the writing of Ivan Doig, the most incent sentence has the trap of poetry. Heart Earth is the most imaginative - and moving - book yet from the writer, The Washington Post has said, whose work makes readers recall why they love to read, reminds writers why they ever wanted to write in the first place.
Ivan Doig is the author of ten previous books, including the novels Prairie Nocturne and Dancing at the Rascal Fair. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, Doig holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.