There's a few locations around the world that seem to be the setting for 90% of movies, TV, and books: New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Hogwarts. But in recent years, we've been seeing Montana pop up in more and more things. There's that new show Big Sky which takes place here, and of course, Yellowstone actually spent months filming here so that it would feel authentic when it returns for its new season.

Maxim Loskutoff is an author who grew up in Missoula, and he's long held the desire to set a story in the Bitterroot Valley - and now, he has! He just released a new, semi-autobiographical novel called Ruthie Fear, which the Missoulian says "merges personal experiences with weird secondhand stories, myths, and real history."

The Missoulian went in-depth with Loskutoff about the book, which is also meant to show off aspects of Montana life that go beyond the stereotypical vision of a Montanan, like a rancher or a cowboy. You can head there for the full description, but the book sounds fascinating, touching on all kinds of relevant thematic territory like environmental collapse, fragile masculinity, class tensions, and more.

This is Loskutoff's first full-length novel, though he's been writing short stories for several years now. In 2018, several of them were collected into a book called Come West and See, which was a New York Times Editor's Pick. You can read about that and see what else he's written over at his website.

Think you'll be checking out Ruthie Fear when you get a chance?

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