By Jenny Shank
New West Article
March 4, 2009
Last Friday the Rocky Mountain News printed its last edition. With the close of the paper, another great books section vanished forever. I sincerely hope that Patti Thorn, the Rocky’s gracious, smart Books Editor finds a new home for her talents soon. I wrote book reviews for the Rocky for over eight years, and read the paper every morning since I was a kid. (I went out on a good note, with a review of the great T.C. Boyle’s latest novel, The Women.) I feel like I lost a friend. The Denver Post picked up a handful of the Rocky’s reporters, but the vast majority of its 200 newsroom employees are out of work, not to mention the many freelancers who wrote for the paper.
Reporter Nancy Mitchell wrote an inside scoop on the Rocky’s demise for Salon this week, ”The Death Throes of My Newspaper.” This economy is really starting to suck. Thankfully, as Thorn wrote in one of her last Rocky columns, a good coping mechanism is to bury your nose in a book.
On a happier note, the Center for the American West honored Montana writer Thomas McGuane with its Wallace Stegner Award last week. Patricia Limerick, the Center’s resident genius, interviewed McGuane about his life, and he proved a worthy raconteur, regaling the crowd with stories about the time he worked on a movie with Marlon Brando, “The Missouri Breaks.” (Read on …)