Learn more about the town of Sixteen at Lost and Found Montana.

This House of Sky: Ringling

By the time Grandma and I moved there, Ringling stood as only a spattered circle of houses around several large weedy foundations. The adult population was about 50 persons, almost all of them undreamably old to me, and the livelihoods were a saloon, a gas station, a post office, Mike Ryan’s store, the depot, and exactly through the middle of town the railroad tracks which glinted and fled instantly in both directions. (126)

Doig, Ivan. This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

About the Book

This House of Sky

Published in 1978, This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind is a memoir of Doig’s hardscrabble childhood on ranches and in small towns along the Rocky Mountain Front. A finalist for the National Book Award, This House of Sky and Doig’s other works earned him a lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association in 1989.

For more about This House of Sky—background notes, a study guide and photos of Doig’s parents, Berneta and Charlie, and his grandmother, Bessie Ringer—visit ivandoig.com.

While the settings in This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind 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

Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig was born in White Sulphur Springs, in Montana’s Smith River Valley, to a family of homesteaders and ranch workers. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington, and has authored more than a dozen novels and works of non-fiction.

Doig has written, “I don’t think of myself as a ‘Western’ writer. To me, language—the substance on the page, that poetry under the prose—is the ultimate ‘region,’ the true home, for a writer.”

Menu