A River Runs Through It

by Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean was born in Iowa in 1902. In 1909 the family relocated to Missoula, Montana, where Norman's father, the Rev. John Maclean, served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church for the next 17 years.

After college at Dartmouth, Maclean became a professor at the University of Chicago. He married Jessie Burns of Wolf Creek, Montana; they had two children, Jean and John. At Chicago Maclean taught Shakespeare and the Romantic poets; in his last years there, he held an endowed chair as William Rainey Harper Professor of English.

It was only after his retirement in 1973 that Maclean began writing the stories for which he'd become famous. A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was published in 1976, the first work of original fiction published by the University of Chicago Press.

While the settings in A River Runs Through It are clearly drawn from actual locales, it is understood that the novel—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author's imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.