cover image The Norman Maclean Reader

The Norman Maclean Reader

Norman Maclean, , edited with an intro. by O. Alan Weltzien. . Univ. of Chicago, $27.50 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-226-50026-3

Maclean (1902–1990), an English professor at the University of Chicago, did not establish himself as a writer until late in his life, but quickly gained national acclaim in 1989 for A River Runs Through It and Other Stories . His posthumous nonfiction account of doomed firefighters, Young Men and Fire , was also praised by critics. Excerpts from both of these works are in this anthology, skillfully edited by Weltzien, to provide a broad and chronological selection from nearly four decades of Maclean's writing. The book includes six previously unpublished pieces, five of them chapters from his uncompleted book on Custer, written between 1959 and 1963. Another standout piece is a 1986 interview in which Maclean ranges widely from the rhythms of prose, his own influences and his native state of Montana to creative writing, fly-fishing and publishers who rejected A River Runs Through It . Readers of the two earlier books will find, as Weltzien phrases it, “new biographical insights into one of the most remarkable and unexpected careers in American letters.” (Nov.)