ByBeth Hunter McHugh
Beth McHugh’s brilliant debut novel takes place in the late 1960s in a Montana university town, and it revolves around thirteen-year-old Grace, her younger sister Franny, their beautiful mother, their beloved father—and a secret that must be confronted. Perceptive and elegantly understated, The Actor examines the divide between secrecy and truth and what it means to grow up on such a precipice.
McHugh received a MFA from the University of Montana and teaches high school English in Montana. The Actor was the runaway winner for the inaugural Meadowlark Award.
Format: Cloth hardcover with dust jacket
Size: 5.8 x 8.75 inches
Author: Beth Hunter McHugh
Format: Digital Download (epub)
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Author: Beth Hunter McHugh
“The Actor is breathtaking in its elegance, precision and beauty. It is a multi-layered love story, and it cracks your heart; it opens your eyes. Beth McHugh is a wizard of perception. She has fashioned a fine, true thing. Read this book, please.”
—Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover, My Russian, and Rima in the Weeds
“I have not read a book that has so deeply affected me in a long, long time. I fell in love with this novel and the wise young narrator Grace. (Ok, I fell in love with all of the characters and the expansive Montana landscape too.) The Actor is a dream of a read. I sighed. I cried. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I admire it. I envy it. I gaped open-mouthed at its wisdom and beauty! McHugh is the literary heir to Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig. A grand literary debut!”
—Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red
Beth McHugh was raised in Helena, Montana, and is a graduate of the University of Montana where she earned a B.A. in English (2006), an M.F.A in Creative Writing (2009), and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction (2015). She taught writing at Bitterroot College and currently teaches English at Hamilton High School. Her work has appeared in literary magazines, including Orange Quarterly and Writing Tomorrow. The Actor is her first book.
Montana debut novel wins award and praise
An award-winning debut novel by a Montana author has received high praise from two of the state’s premier novelists.
Deidre McNamer and Debra Magpie Earling are enthusiastic about Beth Hunter McHugh’s novel, “The Actor,” which won the inaugural Meadowlark Award from Riverbend Publishing of Helena.
Earling, author of “Perma Red,” called “The Actor” a “grand literary debut” in the vein of Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig.
McNamer, author of “Red Rover” and “Rima in the Weeds,” said the book was “breathtaking in its elegance, precision and beauty.”
“The Actor” traces the lives of two teenaged sisters and their parents in the 1960s in a Montana university town. The family has a secret that must be confronted, and the novel examines the divide between secrecy and truth and what it means to grow up on such a precipice.
McHugh, 31, was raised in Helena and is a graduate of the University of Montana where she earned an M.F.A in Creative Writing, McHugh’s fiction has appeared in literary magazines, but “The Actor” is her first book.
“I’ve been working on this book for a long time,” McHugh said. “It’s a story close to my heart.”
“Her novel is captivating,” said Riverbend publisher Chris Cauble. “We had nearly fifty entries for the Meadowlark Award, but Beth’s quality of writing, her strong characters, and her novel’s narrative force were clearly superior.”
The hardcover book sells for $23 and is available at local bookstores and other book outlets.