Carrie La Seur, author, Billings Montana

Carrie La Seur’s critically acclaimed debut novel The Home Place (William Morrow 2014) won the High Plains Book Award, was short-listed for the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel, and was an IndieNext pick, a Library Journal pick, one of the Great Falls Tribune’s Top 10 Montana Books for 2014, and a Florida SunSentinel Best Crime Fiction pick for 2014. Her writing appears in such diverse media as Daily Beast; the Des Moines Register; Eyes on the International Criminal Court; Grist; the Guardian; Harvard Law and Policy Review; High Country News; Huffington Post; Iowa Farmer Today; Kenyon Review Online; Mother Jones; Oil, Gas, and Energy Law; Rumpus; Salon; and Yale Journal of International Law. Carrie has completed the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Summer Session and was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the 2016 Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

In 2017, La Seur published two short stories in anthologies. The first, “Bad Blood”, tells of unsettled business between white and Northern Cheyenne Montanans in a collection titled Montana Noir. The second, “Colt the Bull-Riding Hasid”, is the story of an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn who was born to be a cowboy, published in Sandstone, a collection of local writing in support of This House of Books, the Billings (MT) Bookstore Cooperative. On January 16, 2018, William Morrow released La Seur’s second novel The Weight of An Infinite Sky, a family drama set in southern Montana and loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Carrie’s résumé includes a degree in English and French magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College, a Rhodes Scholarship, a doctorate in modern languages from Oxford University, and a Yale law degree. She has always been a writer. “The writing comes easily,” she says. “It’s what I’m always doing in the background, whatever else is going on. It’s my resting pulse rate to be scribbling what’s happening in my head. If I didn’t, I’d be wandering the streets talking to myself. Sometimes I do that anyway.”

In 2006, Carrie founded the legal nonprofit Plains Justice, which provides public interest energy and environmental legal services in the northern plains states and played a key role in halting several new coal plants, enacting clean energy reforms, and launching the Keystone XL pipeline campaign. “I’m still involved in Plains Justice, but I went back to private practice in 2012. Running a nonprofit takes a unique blend of selflessness and enough raging narcissism to think you really can change the world. The burnout rate is similar to that of telemarketers.” Carrie is also the founding Board President of This House of Books.

Carrie maintains a part-time energy and environmental law practice in Montana, where her ancestors settled in 1864 and she hikes, skis, and fishes with her family.

Author photo by Dewey Vanderhoff taken at Trail Town, Cody, WY



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