Soon to be a major Netflix film directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog is a dark poetic tale of a small town in 1920s Montana. Thomas Savage examines masculinity from the perspective of a deeply homophobic, but closeted, rancher in this complex psychodrama.
Thomas Savage was born on 25 April 1915 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to a large sheep-ranching family. His parents divorced when he was two years old, and on his mother’s remarriage Savage moved with her to Montana. He studied at the University of Montana and worked as a ranch hand for several years, but when an article he wrote on horse-breaking was published in Coronet magazine in 1937, Savage enrolled at Colby College in Maine to study English. He went on to have a variety of jobs, including welder, insurance man and plumber as well as teaching English at Brandeis and Vassar. His first novel, The Pass, was published in 1944 and he went on to write twelve more, including The Power of the Dog. He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980. Thomas Savage died in Virginia on 25 July 2003, aged eighty-eight.
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