Missoula Current

University of Montana English professor and Western author Kevin Canty will read from his new novel from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at Fact and Fiction Bookstore in downtown Missoula.

Canty's new book, “The Underworld,” is published by W.W. Norton & Co. and tells a fictional story based on a real-life fire that killed 91 men in an Idaho silver mining town in the 1970s.

The tale follows Jordan, a young widow with twin children; David, a college student; and Lyle, a lifelong miner, as they struggle with loss in a hard-working, hard-drinking town of prostitutes, priests and bar fights. No one is tough enough to get through undamaged.

“It’s a small working-class town, where people are stuck and secrets always get out, where the collars are blue and college is rare,” Kirkus Reviews writes. “Canty has a keen eye for details in this setting and suitably dry, spare prose…[he] does a fine job of showing how disaster can lacerate a place or people without utterly destroying hope.”

“The Underworld” is Canty’s eighth book. He has written three collections of short stories: “Where the Money Went,” “Honeymoon” and “A Stranger in This World,” and four other novels: “Nine Below Zero”, “Into the Great Wide Open,” “Winslow in Love” and “Everything.”

Canty’s articles, short stories and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, Tin House, GQ, Glimmer Train, Story, the New England Review, Best American Short Stories 2015, Vogue, Details, Playboy, The New York Times, the Oxford American and more.

His work has been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, German, Polish, Italian and Japanese.

Fact and Fiction is located at 220 N. Higgins Ave.