Recent Posts

‘New West’ series kicks off with a look at Montana wolves

Narratively, which describes itself as a digital publication and storytelling studio based in New York, has launched a series called “The New Wild West.” The first piece in the series was contributed by Livingston resident Scott McMillion, publisher of the Montana Quarterly and author of “Mark of the Grizzly: True Stories of Recent Grizzly Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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A few words on the Montana of Jim Harrison


In an AP story about the death of Jim Harrison that ran in the Billings Gazette this morning, there is no mention of Livingston, though the headline does say, “‘Legends of the Fall'” author Jim Harrison, formerly of Livingston, dies at 78.'”

I might be wrong, but I don’t think he was a “former” resident of Livingston. I believe he had residences in Michigan, Arizona and the Paradise Valley, and that for the past 14 years he spent much of his time near Livingston. To give proper weight, then, to the influence of Montana on one of the great writers of our age, you could start with this Wall Street Journal article from 2009, which goes into considerable detail about Harrison’s house and its setting in the Paradise Valley. It includes this priceless paragraph:

“Sun drenches the big open kitchen, where Mr. Harrison and guests occasionally cook elaborate, multi-course meals—many featuring birds and game he’s hunted himself. Earlier this summer, Anthony Bourdain, chef and host of the Travel Channel’s food show ‘No Reservations,’ visited Mr. Harrison’s home during a trip to Livingston. Continue Reading →

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Learning winter’s lessons



I could start this story atop the Bozeman Pass, at 10:30 on a snowy March night in the year 2000, big wet flakes swarming in front of my headlights with increasing fury. I could describe my hands clenched on the steering wheel of my tiny car, trying to keep my balding tires in the ankle-deep ruts ahead of me. I could describe my eyes squeezing shut as a passing truck sprayed gallons of slush on my windshield. I could describe my tires making tiny adjustments on the slushpack, momentarily losing their grip and searching for it again, and my whole body clenching up as if the force of my muscles could keep me on the road. I could describe my eyes becoming mesmerized by the flakes, then finally finding the orange light of a plow to follow behind. Continue Reading →

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That Dynamite Summer


Lay of the Land: A series of essays on the spirit of Montana

Editor’s Note: Shortly after Last Best News opened for business, we were surprised and honored to receive unsolicited essays from several friends and a few strangers. We were even more surprised to discover that all of them covered similar ground. Whether in the form of memoir, yarn or personal essay, all of them touched on what it means to live in Montana, or to have formed some connection with this state. (more…) Continue Reading →

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