Living in the Modern Rural West

Susan Swetnam

The contemporary western writers featured in this theme have a variety of perspectives on rural life in the modern West. Ranging in location across the northern rural West from Washington, to various regions of Idaho (the largest cluster), to Montana, their books present a realistic portrait of the West, admitting to difficulties and divisions and misery, both personal and familial. Readers will find hard questions and unpleasant truths revealed here, along with wry humor at the quirky nature of life in the region. And yet all of these writers also celebrate the particular Western landscapes that they chronicle, evoking the West's inspirational, restorative power even as they demolish the idea that coming west can solve all problems. The West, they suggest, is still a place where people can "find themselves," although perhaps not in the way that they expected.

"Living in the Modern Rural West" theme materials were created by Susan Swetnam, Idaho State University, 2007.

Books for this series include:

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