Friday, March 31: Kevin Canty, one of our own University of Montana Department of English faculty, will read from his new novel, The Underworld. 7pm.
“This brittle, compassionate story tells of a mine fire that devastates a small Idaho town. . . Canty has a keen eye for details in this setting and suitably dry, spare prose. . . . Canty does a fine job of showing how disaster can lacerate a place or people without utterly destroying hope.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A dead-honest encounter with the hearts and minds of working-class America, The Underworld by Kevin Canty stands there beside Island by Alistair MacLean and A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin and damned near anything you might think of by Raymond Carver.” —William Kitteridge
“The Underworld is a beautifully plotted (in other words page-turner) story visiting the immediate and after effects of a small-town disaster. It is also a timely reminder of the tremendously complicated questions communities in the American West face. And faced. And will face. These are superbly drawn people in an impeccably told tale, a perfect storm and novel.” —Antonya Nelson
Master storyteller Kevin Canty returns with The Underworld, a lyrical, haunting novel about a hardscrabble small town in Idaho and the disaster that comes to define it. Inspired by a disastrous mine fire in the early 1970s, The Underworld gracefully imagines a community shattered, and ultimately altered and rebuilt, by tragedy.
Kevin Canty is the author of four novels and three short story collections and has been published in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, and the New York Times Magazine. He currently teaches at the University of Montana in Missoula.