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Discuss One Book Montana’s selection: “The Last Crossing”

The Montana Committee for the Humanities and its Montana Center for the Book chose The Last Crossing, Guy Vanderhaeghes 2002 epic novel of the 19th century American and Canadian west, as their One Book selection for 2007.

The One Book Montana program offers an invitation to all Montanans to read and discuss The Last Crossing.

In The Last Crossing, brothers Charles and Addington Gaunt travel from England to the frontier settlement of Fort Benton in search of their brother Simon. As they struggle to fathom this new and strange civilization, they also gather about them a ragtag posse of outsiders and loners including a half-Blackfoot, half-Scot guide, a Civil War veteran, a single woman bent on revenge, and an American journalist, before beginning their journey even farther North. The novel moves from the colleges of Oxford and mansions of London to the rugged Montana plains, the trading posts of the Canadian wilderness, and the heart of Indian country.

About Guy Vanderhaeghe

Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, in 1951. He is the author of several plays, three short story collections and four other novels, including The EnglishmanҒs Boy (1996), winner of the Governor Generals Award for Fiction, the Saskatchewan Book Awards for Fiction and for Best book of the Year, and a finalist for The Giller Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The Last Crossing (2002), a long-time Canadian bestseller and winner of the Saskatoon Book Award and the Saskatchewan Book Awards for Fiction and for Book of the Year, was a finalist for the Commonwealth WritersҒ Prize for Best Book.The Last Crossing was chosen as the 2004 Canada Reads selection. Guy Vanderhaeghe lives in Saskatoon, where he is a Visiting Professor of English at S.T.M. College.

In addition to his many awards, Vanderhaeghe has received acclaim in the U.S. Richard Ford has called Vanderhaeghe simply a wonderful writer,Ӕ and Annie Proulx says The Last Crossing deserves honors and the widest readership. Guy Vanderhaeghe, one of North AmericaӒs best writers, is at the top of his form.

Of the 2007 One Book Montana selection, Vanderhaeghe commented “I am astonished, enormously pleased, and a little abashed at the choice of The Last Crossing as the 2007 One Book Montana selection. My historical fiction is a tribute to the intimate connections and shared history that existed between Montana and Western Canada in the 1870s. This great honour suggests that they continue.”

(The above information is from the Montana Committee for the Humanities website)

Join an online discussion

Heritage Project teachers will be discussing the book on their listserv beginning November 2. You can sign up for this listserv on the TeacherLore website.

If you order your copy of the book by following the link below, 4% of the purchase cost will go to the Montana Heritage Project.

Montana Heritage Project
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