MTPR

Unlikely Relationship Between A Deputy And A Killer

Feb 11, 2015

Kim Zupan talks about his debut novel, The Ploughmen. He also talks about his writing process and reads passages from the book.

About the book:

A young sheriff and a hardened killer form an uneasy and complicated bond in this mesmerizing first novel set on the plains of Montana.

Steeped in a lonesome Montana landscape as unyielding and raw as it is beautiful, Kim Zupan's The Ploughmen is a new classic in the literature of the American West.

At the center of this searing, fever dream of a novel are two men—a killer awaiting trial, and a troubled young deputy—sitting across from each other in the dark, talking through the bars of a county jail cell: John Gload, so brutally adept at his craft that only now, at the age of 77, has he faced the prospect of long-term incarceration and Valentine Millimaki, low man in the Copper County sheriff’s department, who draws the overnight shift after Gload’s arrest. With a disintegrating marriage further collapsing under the strain of his night duty, Millimaki finds himself seeking counsel from a man whose troubled past shares something essential with his own. Their uneasy friendship takes a startling turn with a brazen act of violence that yokes together two haunted souls by the secrets they share, and by the rugged country that keeps them.

The music in this program was written and performed by John Floridis.

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Kim Zupan

A native Montanan, Kim Zupan lives in Missoula and grew up in and around Great Falls, where much of his novel The Ploughmen is set. For twenty-five years, he made a living as a carpenter while pursuing his writing. He has also worked as a smelterman, pro rodeo bareback rider, ranch hand, Alaska salmon fisherman and teacher, and presently teaches carpentry at Missoula College. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana.