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After a lifetime spent writing and working on his familys cattle ranch outside of Helena, Montana, Ralph Beer has gathered his best magazine essays into one collection called In These Hills. In thirty-three essays he provides a moving and elegiac tribute to lives now passed, an often humorous homage to the provincial, and an attempt to fathom the place where we live . . . to decipher who we are, as he writes in his introduction.
Beer, praised as one of the finest writers in the West, offers an authentic literary voice paired with a lifetime spent exploring a particularly beloved piece of land. From his first experience with a wheat harvest, to the winter rebuilding of a 1947 Dodge Power Wagon, to his moving exploration of an old family mystery, these essays slice sharply under the sod of our embedded romanticism, exploring not only the brute hardships of a living made from cattle ranching but the inextricable satisfaction of it as well. As Beer himself says in the final pages of this collection, Stories outshine instruments of gold. Stories outlast stone.