All But the Waltz: Abraham’s Homestead

I was pretty sure I knew almost to the mile where Abraham had sat in his buggy on a winter night in late 1902 or early 1903….I knew where to find his road, and these things I knew not so much spatially, geographically, as internally, as I might slowly recognize a map of my own arteries. Abraham had seen the bluffs and running water of my childhood, of my father’s childhood, and, in the act of writing about them, had told me he saw what I saw in a way that transcended style. Surely, if I kept transcribing, I might learn something about the magnet pull of place, perhaps even how to break it. (21)

Blew, Mary Clearman. All But the Waltz: Essays on a Montana Family. New York: Viking Press, 1991.

About the Book

All But the Waltz

First published in 1991, All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family is comprised of 11 virtuosic essays about hardship, death and survival on the rugged plains of central Montana.

While the settings in All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—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

Mary Clearman Blew

Mary Clearman Blew grew up on the site of her great-grandfather’s 1882 homestead, along the headwaters of the Judith River north of Lewistown, Montana. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri and is the recipient of numerous awards for her essays, memoirs, short stories and novel—including