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October 23, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

HEART EARTH: A Memoir by Ivan Doig (Penguin: $8.95; 160 pp.). Ivan Doig had only a few precious memories of his mother: She died of asthma on his 6th birthday. Working from a recently discovered cache of letters written to her brother in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the author of "This House of Sky" attempts to reconstruct her life. The investigations increase his understanding of his parents' loving marriage and their curious ties to the harsh rangeland of Montana: "But earth and heart don't have much of a membrane between them. Sometimes decided on grounds as elusive as that single transposable h , this matter of siting ourselves. Of a place insisting itself to us."

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