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. Carrie has completed the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Summer Session and the 2019 Tin House Novel Writing Workshop, and was a Susannah McCorkle Scholar at the 2016 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her writing appears in such diverse media as Daily Beast; 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; and Yale Journal of International Law. New poetry, a book review, and short fiction appeared recently in Inscape, Kenyon Review, Rappahannock Review, and more. See the bibliography below for updates.

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 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, local writing in support of This House of Books, the Billings (MT) Bookstore Cooperative, of which La Seur is a co-founder. On 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 and a finalist for the Reading the West award from the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.

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 lives in Montana, where her ancestors settled in 1864 and she hikes, skis, and fishes with her family.

▪ “A Fairly Ordinary Fool”, forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review (fall 2019)
▪ “The Angel of Caracas”, forthcoming in Nelle (fall 2019)
▪ “The SUP Goddess”, forthcoming in Up North Lit (fall 2019)
▪ Excerpt from The Home Place, Montana Land Reliance anthology A Million Acres: Montana Writers Reflect on Land and Open Space (2019)
▪ “Warm Milk”, Rappahannock Review, Issue 6.1 (December 2018), with an author interview
The Weight of an Infinite Sky (William Morrow, January 2018), paperback release: October 2018
▪ “Bad Blood”, Montana Noir anthology (September 2017, Akashic Press)
▪ “Colt the Bull-Riding Hasid”, Sandstone: An Anthology to Support This House of Books (August 2017)
The Home Place (William Morrow, July 2014)

▪ “These Women Tonight”, forthcoming in The Vitni Review (2019)
▪ “Huntley Butte” and “Trailer Trash”, Museum of Americana Issue 17, March 2019
▪ “The Iowa”, From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology (Water’s Edge Press 2019)
▪ “American Family”, Inscape (2019)

▪ “Garden Journal of a Death Foretold” Ploughshares blog (August 2019)
▪ “Review of Heartland by Sarah Smarsh” Kenyon Review Online (March 2019)
▪ “An Interview With Carrie La Seur Following ‘A Working Class Death’” by Frederica Morgan Davis, True – Proximity Magazine (January 2019)
▪ “A Working Class Death,” True – Proximity Magazine (October 2018), reprinted in Inscape (2019)
▪ “Motivation and Humanity: A Conversation With Carrie La Seur,” by Christine Sneed, Rumpus magazine (March 2018)
▪ “Messy and Complicated and Real: A Conversation With Laura Pritchett,” by Carrie La Seur, Rumpus magazine (March 2018)
▪ “How to keep independent bookstores alive,” High Country News (December 2016)
▪ “Live Tweeting Hospital Price-Gouging,” Huffington Post (December 2016)
▪ “Hiring Anybody With Arms: a documentary glimpse into the Dakota oil boom,” Huffington Post (September 2016)
▪ “Deep in the American West: meet Harry Koyama, a beet farmer with an artist’s soul,” The Guardian (June 2016)
▪ “On The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa,” Kenyon Review Online (Spring 2016)
▪ “Little Miracles Everywhere, Or How Billings, Montana Got Its Bookstore Mojo Back,” Huffington Post (April 2016)
▪ “A Montana Goodbye for Ivan Doig,” Huffington Post (August 2015)
▪ “The Coal Royalty Loophole That’s Costing the US Hundreds of Millions,” Huffington Post (August 2015)
▪ “Oversights and Omissions in Federal Review of Another Rail Spur for Montana Coal,” Huffington Post (June 2015)
▪ “Why Vetoing Keystone XL Isn’t Nearly Enough,” Huffington Post (February 2015)
▪ “Book Bag: Gritty Stories from the Real Montana,” Daily Beast (October 2014)
▪ “Is My Vagina the Most Important Thing About My Writing?” Huffington Post (October 2014)
▪ “So You Want to Be a (Successful) Writer?” Huffington Post (April 2014)
▪ “A Working Mom … Like My Grandmothers,” Huffington Post (February 2013)
▪ “Forty Years after NEPA’s Enactment, It Is Time for a Comprehensive Farm Bill Environmental Impact Statement,” Harvard Law and Policy Review (May 2013)
▪ “Needed: A 50-State Strategy on Climate,” Mother Jones (September 2010)
▪ “How Merchant Coal Is Changing the Face of America,” Grist (August 2006)
▪ “The Foreigner As Fetish,” Salon (July 1999)
▪ “Can I Trust You?” Salon (June 1999)
▪ “The Long Rhodes Home,” Salon (May 1999)

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


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