All But the Waltz: Fort Peck Dam

He takes a deep breath of green lumber from the new barracks and thawing grass under his feet. He’s at Fort Peck, he’s signed on, and he’ll work, by God, like he worked on the road crews and the going-broke trucking outfits from the Judith Basin to the North Dakota line….He knew when he registered for work on the dam that he’d be lucky to get on; they were taking the married men with families first, like Fexler and McVeigh. But by God, they called up three names from Judith Basin County, and he’s one of the three, and here he is. (143-144)

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