Key West Literary Seminar
"SPIRIT OF PLACE: American Literary Landscapes"

January 10-13, 2002

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Panelist - Annick Smith

Annick Smith
Annick Smith

ANNICK SMITH'S books include Homestead, Big Bluestem, and the just published In This We Are Native, Memoirs and Journeys. She was co-editor of the Montana anthology, The Last Best Place, and her essays have appeared in Audubon, Outside, Modern Maturity, The New York Times, Islands, and Big Sky Journal. Her story, "It's Come To This," which won a National Magazine Award in Fiction for Story Magazine, was published in Best American Short Stories, 1992, and has been widely anthologized. Smith's film credits include being executive producer of the prize-winning feature, Heartland, and a co-producer of Robert Redford's Academy Award winning adaptation of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It. She was born in Paris, grew up in Chicago, and has lived for thirty years on a homestead ranch in Montana's Blackfoot River valley. Currently, Smith is working on a novel set in the Grand Canyon and Sitka, Alaska.

In This We Are Native, Memoirs and Journeys, Lyon Press
Homestead, Milkweed Editions
Big Bluestem, Council Oak Books
The Last Best Place (co-editor), Grove/Pequot

From Booklist:
"Smith came to Montana by way of Paris and Chicago, taking up the trek west her parents began when they left Hungary; but it was only years later, after establishing her Montana homestead and becoming thoroughly meshed with Big Sky Country, that Smith realized that, like her parents, she had immigrated to a "land of greater freedom." This is the sort of subtle pattern Smith contemplates in her thoughtful and involving essays. She shares some evocative memories of her culturally stimulating childhood along Lake Michigan, remembering her self-effacing mother and her father, Stephen Deutch, an "almost famous" photographer.

Smith married young and ended up in Montana in 1970 with her incurably ill husband and their four sons. They purchased 163 acres of land, built a home out of a recycled log house, and worked hard at living, writing, filmmaking, and loving until Dave's expected but nevertheless jolting death.

Smith writes tenderly about these experiences, then rapturously about hiking, skiing, fishing the Big Blackfoot River, dancing, enjoying the company of literary friends Bill Kittredge and Norman Maclean, and working on the film version of A River Runs through It.

A low-key yet forceful writer, Smith gives us much to ponder and admire. Donna Seaman Ingram describes how the author and her family built a wilderness homestead in 1959 Montana that grew into a flourishing ranch and recounts the many adventures that found their roots in early American western and pioneering traditions."

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January 10-13, 2002 Seminar
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