by richard gale

Norman Maclean (1902-1990) was a unique American writer. Born in Iowa, he had loving, religious parents and a brother who was murdered, was educated at Dartmouth and the University of Chicago, became a distinguished and popular university professor, lived in Montana, wrote among many other items a definitive essay on the English lyric and another on Shakespeare’s King Lear, and then late in life composed three master works: A River Runs Through It, a best-selling classic also turned into an award-winning movie; Young Men and Fire, the haunting account of the efforts of parachutists jumping to fight forest fires but finding only death; and incomplete but now assembled essays about ill-fated Custer, his soldiers, and their opponents. Maclean believed that human events make ultimate sense only when their contours are reshaped into gripping literary art. The Norman Maclean Companion has a Chronology of Maclean’s life, discussions of all of his literary works, his relatives, and his friends, together with incidental critical commentary, a far-ranging Bibliography, and a complete Index.

Iowa-born Robert L. Gale has degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, was an officer during World War II in the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army Air Corps in England, France, North Africa, and Italy. He taught at American and foreign universities for forty years and has published widely, including more than twenty reference books like this one on Norman Maclean. Retired from the University of Pittsburgh, Gale now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



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