Paul and Norman grew up in Missoula, where their father, Rev. John Maclean, was pastor at the First Presbyterian Church on South Fifth Street for 17 years.
A River Runs Through It: Missoula
Undoubtedly, our differences would not have seemed so great if we had not been such a close family. Painted on one side of our Sunday school wall were the words, God Is Love. We always assumed that these three words were spoken directly to the four of us in our family and had no reference to the world outside, which my brother and I soon discovered was full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the farther one gets from Missoula, Montana. (7)
Maclean, Norman. A River Runs Through It and Other Stories (Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
About the Book
A River Runs Through It
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.
About the Author
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.