Dan Cushman, a prolific fiction writer and former radio announcer whose 1953 novel “Stay Away, Joe” was made into a movie starring Elvis Presley, died Saturday Sept. 29 in Great Falls, Mont. He was 92.
The former New York Times book critic, who wrote dozens of books, was best known for “Stay Away, Joe.” The book’s portrayal of American Indians stirred controversy in Montana, and Indian novelist James Welch vetoed an excerpt for inclusion in “The Last Best Place,” a Montana anthology.
In 1998 Cushman received the H.G. Merriam Award for Distinguished Contributions to Montana Literature, joining Richard Hugo, A.B. Guthrie Jr. and Norman Maclean.
Cushman was first paid for his writing when he received $5 a week for reporting news for a newspaper in Big Sandy, Mont.
He wrote books set in the South Pacific, the Congo and the Yukon, and drew on his colorful life for much of his fiction: Cushman worked as a cowboy, printer, prospector, geologist’s assistant, advertising writer and radio announcer.