Edmonds literary community mourns passing of Ivan Doig

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Ivan Doig
Ivan Doig

My Edmonds News notes Thursday’s passing of Ivan Doig, a prodigious writer and great friend to the Edmonds literary community. Over the years, many Edmonds residents attended Doig’s readings and book signings.

Doig is the author of 16 books in total, including “This House of Sky” which was a National Book Award nominee. His historical fiction won many awards including the 2007 Wallace Stegner Award, the Western Literature Association’s lifetime Distinguished Achievement award and many Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association honors.

Within hours of his passing news of Doig’s death spread across the Facebook pages of Edmonds-area writers and book club members, including this from Edmonds writer David Gross: “He inspired so many writers and set such a high standard.” Local author Judith Works recalled his 2013 novel, “Bucking the Sun,” as her favorite; and Edmonds resident Maggie Peterson recalled fondly, “This House of Sky.”

Edmonds Bookshop owner Mary Kay Sneeringer added to her Facebook page a tribute that included a photo of Doig at one of the shop’s book signings and this comment, “We mourn the passing of Ivan Doig, a giant among Northwest writers and a friend of Edmonds Bookshop.”

5196IQ08SgL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Many of Doig’s books take place in his home state of Montana, including his latest novel scheduled for an Aug. 18 release, “Last Bus to Wisdom”. His last Edmonds book signing was in August 2013 for his novel, “Sweet Thunder.”

Ivan Doig is survived by his wife Carol, professor emeritus journalism, Shoreline Community College; whom he often referred to as his “partner in crime.”

— By Emily Hill

4 COMMENTS

  1. I once went out of my way to drive across the Fort Peck dam after reading Bucking the Sun. I am currently in the middle of Sweet Thunder and I intend to milk it for all it’s worth.

    This House of Sky is not only my favorite Doig book, it’s my favorite book. I buy copies so I can give them away as gifts.

    Every now and then in my wanderings I’ll seek out a copy of the reprint of Sky that has the amended foreword in which Ivan describes hearing a woman at a book signing say to a friend of Sky “I’ll have to get a copy of that for my Dad”. Doig asks the woman “Was your Father a rancher or a Montanan?” “No. Because I love him!”

    Makes me cry every time…….

    Rest well Mr. Doig. From one westerner to another.

  2. I grew up in the Boston area and really knew nothing of the West until I moved to California (not the REAL West) and then to Edmonds. I joined a book club and was introduced to many people from Montana and Idaho, etc. They in turn introduced me to Ivan Doig’s books. I was, and am, enthralled by his stories. I always felt I was “right there” every time I turned a page. Everything I know about him indicates that not only was he a great writer, but a humble, kind and caring gentleman. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his wonderful gifts to us.

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