Thalia, Texas Books In Publication Order
- Horseman, Pass By / Hud (1961)
- Leaving Cheyenne (1962)
- Thalia (2017)
Last Picture Show Books In Publication Order
- The Last Picture Show (1966)
- Texasville (1987)
- Duane’s Depressed (1999)
- When the Light Goes (2007)
- Rhino Ranch (2009)
Houston Books In Publication Order
- Moving On (1970)
- All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers (1972)
- Terms of Endearment (1975)
- Somebody’s Darling (1978)
- Some Can Whistle (1989)
- The Evening Star (1992)
Desert Rose Books In Publication Order
- The Desert Rose (1983)
- The Late Child (1995)
Lonesome Dove Books In Publication Order
- Lonesome Dove (1985)
- Streets of Laredo (1993)
- Dead Man’s Walk (1995)
- Comanche Moon (1997)
Lonesome Dove Books In Chronological Order
- Dead Man’s Walk (1995)
- Comanche Moon (1997)
- Lonesome Dove (1985)
- Streets of Laredo (1993)
Berrybender Narratives Books In Publication Order
- Sin Killer (2002)
- The Wandering Hill (2003)
- By Sorrow’s River (2003)
- Folly and Glory (2004)
Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- Cadillac Jack (1982)
- Anything for Billy (1988)
- Buffalo Girls (1990)
- Pretty Boy Floyd (With: Diana Ossana) (1994)
- Zeke and Ned (With: Diana Ossana) (1997)
- Boone’s Lick (2000)
- Loop Group (2004)
- Telegraph Days (2006)
- The Last Kind Words Saloon (2014)
Short Story Collections In Publication Order
- Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay (With: Annie Proulx,Diana Ossana) (2005)
Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order
- In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas (1968)
- Film Flam: Essays on Hollywood (1987)
- Crazy Horse (1999)
- Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen (1999)
- Roads: A Millennial Journey Along America’s Great Interstate Highways (2000)
- Paradise (2001)
- Sacagawea’s Nickname: Essays on the American West (2001)
- Oh What a Slaughter: Massacres in the American West, 1846-1890 (2005)
- The Colonel and Little Missie (2006)
- Books: A Memoir (2008)
- Literary Life: A Second Memoir (2009)
- Hollywood: A Third Memoir (2010)
- Custer (2012)
- Missouri River (2015)
Anthologies In Publication Order
- Still Wild (2000)
- Lone Star Literature (2003)
Thalia, Texas Book Covers
Last Picture Show Book Covers
Houston Book Covers
Desert Rose Book Covers
Lonesome Dove Book Covers
Lonesome Dove Book Covers
Berrybender Narratives Book Covers
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Short Story Collections Book Covers
Non-Fiction Book Covers
Anthologies Book Covers
Larry McMurtry Books Overview
When Larry McMurtry’s classic novel of the post World War II era was originally published in 1961, it created a sensation in Texas literary circles. Never before had a writer portrayed the contemporary West in conflict with the Old West in such stark, realistic, unsentimental ways. Horseman, Pass By, on which the film Hud is based, tells the story of Homer Bannon, an old time cattleman who epitomizes the frontier values of honesty and decency, and Hud, his unscrupulous stepson. Caught in the middle is the narrator, Homer’s young grandson, Lonnie, who is as much drawn to his grandfather’s strength of character as he is to Hud’s hedonism and materialism. Memorable characters, powerful themes, and illuminating detail make Horseman, Pass By vintage McMurtry.
My foot’s in the stirrup, My pony won’t stand; Goodbye, old partner, I’m Leaving Cheyenne. Old cowboy song Leaving Cheyenne, Larry McMurtry’s second novel, traces the loves of three West Texas characters as they follow that sundown trail: Gideon Fry, the serious rancher; Johnny McCloud, the free spirited cowhand; and Molly Taylor, the sensitive woman they both love and who bears them each a son. Tragic circumstances mark the trail but McMurtry’s style never turns melodramatic or sentimental.
Sam the Lion runs the pool hall, the picture house and the all night cafe. Coach Popper whips his boys with towels and once took a shot at one when he disturbed his hunting. Billy wouldn’t know better than to sweep his broom all the way to the town limits if no one stopped him. And teenage friends Sonny and Duane have nothing better to do than drift towards the adult world, with its temptations of sex and confusions of love. The basis for a classic film, ‘The Last Picture Show‘ is both extremely funny and deeply profound. And, with the eccentrically peopled Thalia, Texas, Larry McMurtry made a small town that feels as real as any you’ve ever walked around.
With Texasville, Larry McMurtry returns to the unforgettable Texas town and characters of one of his best loved books, The Last Picture Show. This is a Texas sized story brim*ming with home truths of the heart, and men and women we recognize, believe in, and care about deeply. Set in the post oil boom 1980s, Texasville brings us up to date with Duane, who’s got an adoring dog, a sassy wife, a twelve million dollar debt, and a hot tub by the pool; Jacy, who’s finished playing ‘Jungla’ in Italian movies and who’s returned to Thalia; and Sonny Duane’s teenage rival for Jacy’s affections who owns the car wash, the Kwik Sackstore, and the video arcade.
One of Larry McMurtry’s funniest and most touching contemporary novels.
Funny, sad, full of wonderful characters and the word perfect dialogue of which he is the master, Larry McMurtry’s new novel is the final and eagerly awaited volume of the trilogy that now includes The Last Picture Show one of his most acclaimed and beloved novels, Texasville, and Duane’s Depressed. Set in Thalia, Texas, the small town that McMurtry literally put on the map when he wrote The Last Picture Show and that bears a more than passing resemblance to his own hometown, Archer City, Duane’s Depressed follows those of the characters who have survived into their twilight years. In The Last Picture Show and the books that follow, McMurtry has created a cast that has achieved instant recognition, both in print and on the screen Duane and his friend and rival, Sonny, both high school seniors in the small and shrinking oil patch town of Thalia, obsessed with sex and touchingly vulnerable behind a facade of teenage toughness; Jacy, the prettiest and richest girl in town, who survives small town teenage sex to become a movie star; Ruth Popper, the sadly romantic wife of Coach Popper; Jacy’s hell raising mother; Karla, who later marries Duane; Lester, the high school geek who goes on to become the town banker and eventually does time in prison for writing up inappropriate loans all with a life of their own, as rich and as surprising as only Larry McMurtry could imagine. Now, in Duane’s Depressed, McMurtry brings the Thalia saga to an end with Duane confronting depression in the midst of plenty. Surrounded by his children, who all seem to be going through life crises involving sex, drugs, and violence; his wife, Karla, who is wrestling with her own demons; and friends like Sonny, who seem to be dying, Duane can’t seem to make sense of his life anymore, and shocks his loved ones and the local countryside by giving up his pickup truck to go on foot and later by bike a sign of depression if not madness by local community standards which will soon lead him to abandon Karla and his family and emulate Thoreau, and will eventually make him a patient of Dr. Honor Carmichael, a lesbian psychoanalyst who has put out her shingle in Wichita Falls and with whom Duane falls inappropriately in love, and to make a friend of Gay lee, a who*re who lives near him in the hellish motel he has chosen to stay in when not in his rustic cabin, and to whom Duane gives Shorty, his Queensland blue heeler and companion, as he gradually makes his way through a protracted end of life crisis in which he is finally cured by reading Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, a combination of penance and prescription from Dr. Carmichael that somehow works. Here is McMurtry’s strongest and most appealing ‘contemporary’ novel since the much acclaimed Terms of Endearment the work of a powerful, mature artist, with a deep understanding of the human condition, a profound ability to write about small town life, and perhaps the surest touch of any American novelist for the tangled feelings that bind and separate men and women. Utterly unsentimental, often hilarious, sometimes tragic and shocking, and in the end full of hope, Duane’s Depressed is one of McMurtry’s strongest novels, a major work of art by any standard.
In this masterful and often surprising sequel to the acclaimed Duane’s Depressed, the Pulitzer Prize and Oscar winning author of Lonesome Dove has written a haunting, elegiac, and occasionally erotic novel about one of his most beloved characters. Duane Moore first made his appearance in The Last Picture Showand, like his author, he has aged but not lost his vigor or his taste for life.
Back from a two week trip to Egypt, Duane finds he cannot readjust to life in Thalia, the small, dusty, West Texas hometown in which he has spent all of his life. In the short time he was away, it seems that everything has changed alarmingly. His office barely has a reason to exist now that his son Dickie is running the company from Wichita Falls, his lifelong friends seem to have suddenly grown old, his familiar hangout, once a good old fashioned convenience store, has been transformed into an ‘Asian Wonder Deli,’ his daughters seem to have taken leave of their senses and moved on to new and strange lives, and his own health is at serious risk.
It’s as if Duane cannot find any solace or familiarity in Thalia and cannot even bring himself to revisit the house he shared for decades with his late wife, Karla, and their children and grandchildren. He spends his days aimlessly riding his bicycle already a sign of serious eccentricity in West Texas and living in his cabin outside town. The more he tries to get back to the rhythm of his old life, the more he realizes that he should have left Thalia long ago indeed everybody he cared for seems to have moved on without him, to new lives or to death.
The only consolation is meeting the young, attractive geologist, Annie Cameron, whom Dickie has hired to work out of the Thalia office. Annie is brazenlyseductive, yet oddly cold, young enough to be Duane’s daughter, or worse, and Duane hasn’t a clue how to handle her. He’s also in love with his psychiatrist, Honor Carmichael, who after years of rebuffing him, has decided to undertake what she feels is Duane’s very necessary sex reeducation, opening him up to some major, life changing surprises.
For the lesson of When the Light Goes is that where there’s life, there is indeed hope Duane, widowed, displaced from whatever is left of his own life, suddenly rootless in the middle of his own hometown, and at risk of death from a heart that also doesn’t seem to be doing its job, is in the end saved by sex, by love, and by his own compassionate and intense interest in other people and the surprises they reveal.
At once realistic and life loving, often hilariously funny, and always moving, though without a touch of sentimentality, Larry McMurtry has opened up a new chapter in Duane’s life and, in doing so, written one of his finest and most compelling novels to date, doing for Duane what he did so triumphantly for Aurora in Terms of Endearment.
In this poignant and striking final chapter in the Duane Moore story, which began in 1966 with The Last Picture Show, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar winning author Larry McMurtry takes readers on one last unforgettable journey to Thalia, Texas, a town that continues to change at a breakneck pace even as Duane feels himself slowing down. Returning home to recover from a near fatal heart attack, Duane discovers that he has a new neighbor: the statuesque K. K. Slater, a quirky billionairess who’s come to Thalia to open the Rhino Ranch, dedicated to the preservation of the endangered black rhinoceros. Despite their obvious differences, Duane can’t help but find himself charmed by K.K.’s stubborn toughness and lively spirit, and the two embark on a flirtation that rapidly veers toward the sexual but the return of Honor Carmichael complicates Duane’s romantic intentions considerably. As Duane reflects on all that he and Thalia have been through, he feels adrift in a world where love and betrayal walk hand in hand and a stalwart Texas oil town can become home to a nature preserve. Rhino Ranch is a fitting end to this iconic saga, an emotional, whimsical and bittersweet tribute to the lives of a man and a town that have inspired readers across decades.
Moving On is a big, powerful novel about men and women in the American West. Set in the 1960s against the backdrop of the honky tonk glamour of the rodeo and the desperation of suburban Houston, it is the story of the restless and lovable Patsy Carpenter, one of Larry McMurtry’s most unforgettable characters. Patsy young, beautiful, with a sharp tongue and an irresistible charm and her shiftless husband, Jim, are adrift in the West. Patsy moves through affairs of the heart like small towns there’s Pete, the rodeo clown, and Hank, the graduate student, and others always in search of the life that seems ever receding around the next bend. Peopled with a riotously colorful cast of highbrows, cowpokes, and rodeo queens, in its wry humor, tenderness, and epic panorama, Moving On is a celebration of our land by one of America’s best loved authors. Moving On is vintage McMurtry.
Ranging from Texas to California on a young writer’s journey in a car he calls El Chevy, All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers is one of Larry McMurtry’s most vital and entertaining novels. Danny Deck is on the verge of success as an author when he flees Houston and hurtles unexpectedly into the hearts of three women: a girlfriend who makes him happy but who won’t stay, a neighbor as generous as she is lusty, and his pal Emma Horton. It’s a wild ride toward literary fame and an uncharted country…
beyond everyone he deeply loves. All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers is a wonderful display of Larry McMurtry’s unique gift: his ability to re create the subtle textures of feelings, the claims of passing time and familiar place, and the rich interlocking swirl of people’s lives.
In this acclaimed novel that inspired the Academy Award winning motion picture, Larry McMurtry created two unforgettable characters who won the hearts of readers and moviegoers everywhere: Aurora Greenway and her daughter Emma. Aurora is the kind of woman who makes the whole world orbit around her, including a string of devoted suitors. Widowed and overprotective of her daughter, Aurora adapts at her own pace until life sends two enormous challenges her way: Emma’s hasty marriage and subsequent battle with cancer. ‘Terms of Endearment‘ is the Oscar winning story of a memorable mother and her feisty daughter and their struggle to find the courage and humor to live through life’s hazards and to love each other as never before.
Pulitzer Prize winning Larry McMurtry writes like no one else about the American frontier. In Somebody’s Darling, the frontier lies farther west, in Hollywood, where his subject is the strange world of the movies those who make them and those who play in them.
Somebody’s Darling is the story of the fortunes of Jill Peel. Jill is brilliant, talented, and disciplined, and one of the best female directors in Tinseltown, or anywhere else. She’s got it all together, except where the men in her life are concerned: Joe Percy and Owen Oarson. Joe is a womanizing, aging screenwriter, cheerfully cynical about life, love, and art and the pursuit of all three. But he’d rather be left alone with the young, oversexed wives of studio moguls. Owen is an ex Texas football player and tractor salesman turned studio climber and sexual athlete. He’ll climb from bed to bed in pursuit of his starry goal: to be a movie producer. Between the two of them and a cast of Hollywood’s most unforgettable eccentrics, Jill Peel tries to create some movie magic.
Full of all the grit and warmth of his best work, Somebody’s Darling is Larry McMurtry’s deft and raunchy romp behind the scenes of America’s own unique Babel: Hollywood.
‘Mr. Deck, are you my stinkin’ Daddy?’ In a furious phone call from T.R., the daughter he’s never met, Danny Deck gets the jolt of his life. A TV writer who’s retired to his Texas mansion, Danny spends his days talking to the answering machines of his ex lovers from New York to Paris and dreaming of the characters in the sitcom he’s created. But suddenly, a hurricane called T.R. is storming into his life…
In his most moving and richly comic contemporary novel since Texasville, Larry McMurtry returns to the modern West he created so masterfully in The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment. Some Can Whistle spins a tale of Hollywood glitz and Texas grit; of an extraordinary young woman and a murderous young man; and of a middle aged millionaire running head on into the longings, joys, and pathos of real life.
Larry McMurtry’s Terms of Endearment touched readers in a way no other story has in recent years. The earthy humor and the powerful emotional impact that set this novel apart rise to brilliant new heights with The Evening Star. McMurtry takes us deep into the heart of Texas, and deep into the heart of one of the most memorable characters of our time, Aurora Greenway along with her family, friends, and lovers in a tale of affectionate wit, bittersweet tenderness, and the unexpected turns that life can take. This is Larry McMurtry at his very best: warm, compassionate, full of comic invention, an author so attuned to the feelings, needs, and desires of his characters that they possess a reality unique in American fiction.
Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry writes novels set in the American heartland, but his real territory is the heart itself. His gift for writing about women their love for reckless, hopeless men; their ability to see the good in losers; and their peculiar combination of emotional strength and sudden weakness makes The Desert Rose the bittersweet, funny, and touching book that it is. Harmony is a Las Vegas showgirl. At night she’s a lead dancer in a gambling casino; during the day she raises peacocks. She’s one of a dying breed of dancers, faced with fewer and fewer jobs and an even bleaker future. Yet she maintains a calm cheerfulness in that arid neon landscape of supermarkets, drive in wedding chapels, and all night casinos. While Harmony’s star is fading, her beautiful, cynical daughter Pepper’s is on the rise. But Harmony remains wistful and optimistic through it all. She is the unexpected blossom in the wasteland, the tough and tender desert rose. Hers is a loving portrait that only Larry McMurtry could render.
An unforgettable addition to his widely acclaimed body of work, The Late Child is Larry McMurtry’s tender, funny, and poignant sequel to The Desert Rose. McMurtry delivers another rich cast of characters and a heartfelt, bittersweet story that unfolds on the open road, in one woman’s search for strength, understanding, and hope.
Harmony is the optimistic, resilient Las Vegas ex showgirl who returns home one day to the news that her beloved daughter has died, in New York, of AIDS. She manages to stay afloat, buoyed by her precocious five year old son, Eddie, and her two outspoken sisters as they set forth on a journey across the country, seeking answers about her daughter’s death. From Nevada to New York to Oklahoma, the eccentrics Harmony and her entourage meet nudge them closer to an inner peace with life, and a way to find hope in the future. Alive with inventive storytelling and honest emotion, The Late Child is a warm, enriching experience that celebrates the unique relationship between mother and child.
Bestselling winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize, Lonesome Dove is an American classic. First published in 1985, Larry McMurtry’s epic novel combined flawless writing with a storyline and setting that gripped the popular imagination, and ultimately resulted in a series of four novels and an Emmy winning television miniseries. Now, with an introduction by the author, Lonesome Dove is reprinted in an S&S Classic Edition.
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, the author of Terms of Endearment, is his long awaited masterpiece, the major novel at last of the American West as it really was.
A love story, an adventure, an American epic, Lonesome Dove embraces all the West legend and fact, heroes and outlaws, who*res and ladies, Indians and settiers in a novel that recreates the central American experience, the most enduring of our national myths.
Set in the late nineteenth century, Lonesome Dove is the story of a cattle drive from Texas to Montana and much more. It is a drive that represents for everybody involved not only a daring, even a foolhardy, adventure, but a part of the American Dream the attempt to carve out of the last remaining wilderness a new life.
Augustus McCrae and W. F. Call are former Texas Rangers, partners and friends who have shared hardship and danger together without ever quite understanding or wanting to understand each other’s deepest emotions. Gus is the romantic, a reluctant rancher who has a way with women and the sense to leave well enough alone. Call is a driven, demanding man, a natural authority figure with no patience for weaknesses, and not many of his own. He is obsessed with the dream of creating his own empire, and with the need to conceal a secret sorrow of his own. The two men could hardly be more different, but both are tough, redoubtable fighters who have learned to count on each other, if nothing else.
Call’s dream not only drags Gus along in its wake, but draws in a vast cast of characters:
Lorena, the who*re with the proverbial heart of gold, whom Gus and almost everyone else loves, and who survives one of the most terrifying experiences any woman could have…
Elmira, the restless, reluctant wife of a small time Arkansas sheriff, who runs away from the security of marriage to become part of the great Western adventure…
Blue Duck, the sinister Indian renegade, one of the most frightening villains in American fiction, whose steely capacity for cruelty affects the lives of everyone in the book…
Newt, the young cowboy for whom the long and dangerous journey from Texas to Montana is in fact a search for his own identity…
Jake, the dashing, womanizing exRanger, a comrade in arms of Gus and Call, whose weakness leads him to an unexpected fate…
July Johnson, husband of Elmira, whose love for her draws him out of his secure life into the wilderness, and turns him into a kind of hero…
Lonesome Dove sweeps from the Rio Grande where Gus and Call acquire the cattle for their long drive by raiding the Mexicans to the Montana highlands where they find themselves besieged by the last, defiant remnants of an older West.
It is an epic of love, heroism, loyalty, honor, and betrayal faultlessly written, unfailingly dramatic. Lonesome Dove is the novel about the West that American literature and the American reader has long been waiting for.
In the long awaited sequel to Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry spins an exhilarating tale of legend and heroism. Captain Woodrow Call, Augustus McCrae’s old partner, is now a bounty hunter hired to track down a brutal, young Mexican bandit. Riding with Call are an Eastern city slicker, a witless deputy, and one of the last members of the Hat Creek outfit, Pea Eye Parker, now married to Lorena once Gus McCrae’s sweetheart. Their long chase leads them across the last wild stretches of the West into a hellhole known as Crow Town, and finally, into the vast, relentless plains of the Texas frontier.
In Streets of Laredo, McMurtry brought the story ahead, giving us Call in his old age. Now, in Dead Man’s Walk, he takes us back to the days when Gus and Call were young Texas Rangers, first experiencing the wild frontier that will form their characters. We also meet Clara Forsythe, the unforgettable young woman whose effect on Gus McCrae is immediate and unshakable. Danger, sacrifice, comradeship, and love give them the strength and courage to survive against the almost insurmountable odds of the frontier. In Dead Man’s Walk, Gus and Call are not yet twenty, young men coming of age in the days when Texas was still an independent republic. Enlisting as Texas Rangers under a land pirate who wants to seize Santa Fe from the Mexicans, Gus and Call experience their first great adventure in the barren great plains landscape, in which arbitrary violence is the rule whether from nature, or from the Indians whose territory they must cross in order to reach New Mexico. From the Indians defending their land with unrelenting savagery, to the Texans attempting to seize and ‘civilize’ it, and the Mexicans threatened by both, the reckless men of the untamed frontier make this at once a riveting adventure story and a powerful work of literature.
A brilliant and haunting novel richly capable of standing on its own. Comanche Moon completes Larry McMurtry’s epic cycle of novels of the American West that began with the Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, Lonesome Dove. We join Texas Rangers August McCrae and Woodrow F. Call as they are just beginning to deal with the perplexing tensions of adult life Gus, and his great love, Clara Forsythe, Call and Maggie Tilton, the young who*re who loves him when they enlist with a Ranger troop in pursuit of Buffalo Hump, the great Comanche war chief; Kicking Wolf, the celebrated Comanche horse thief; and a deadly Mexican bandit king with a penchant for torture. Comanche Moon joins the twenty year time line between Dead Man’s Walk and Lonesome Dove, as we follow Gus, Call and their comrades in arms Deets, Jake Spoon, and Pea Eye Parker in their bitter struggle to protect an advancing Western frontier against the defiant Comanches, determined to defend their territory and way of life. At once realistic and yet vividly imagined, Comanche Moon is a giant of an audiobook and the keystone to a mighty achievement of storytelling. An epic adventure full of heroism, tragedy, cruelty, courage, honor and betrayal, Comanche Moon is the culmination of Larry McMurtry’s peerless vision of the American West.
Larry McMurtry’s ‘Sin Killer,’ the first novel of a major four volume work, is set in the West when it was still unexplored, with a rich, brilliant cast of characters, their lives as intertwined and memorable as those of ‘Lonesome Dove,’ a work that is at once literature and great entertainment. It is 1830, and the Berrybender family, rich, aristocratic, English, and fiercely out of place, is on its way up the Missouri River to see the American West as it begins to open up. Accompanied by a large and varied collection of retainers, Lord and Lady Berrybender have abandoned their palatial home in England to explore the frontier and to broaden the horizons of their children, who include Tasmin, a budding young woman of grit, beauty, and determination, her vivacious and difficult sister, and her brother. As they journey by rough stages up the Missouri River, they meet with all the dangers, difficulties, temptations, and awesome natural scenery of the untamed West, as well as a cast of characters including Indians, pioneers, mountain men, and explorers, both historical and imaginary, and with as many adventures as Gus and Call faced in ‘Lonesome Dove.’ At the very core of the book is Tasmin’s fast developing relationship with Jim Snow, frontiersman, ferocious Indian fighter, and part time preacher known up and down the Missouri as ‘the Sin Killer‘, the strong, handsome, silent Westerner who eventually captures her heart, despite the fact that they are two intensely strong willed people, from very different backgrounds. Against the immense backdrop of the American West, still almost but not quite unspoiled, Larry McMurtry has created a wonderfully engaging familyconfronting every bigger than life personality of the frontier, from the painter George Catlin to Indian chiefs, beaver trappers, mountain men, and European aristocrats and adventurers, as they make their way up the great river, surviving attacks, discomfort, savage weather, and natural disaster. ‘Sin Killer‘ is a great adventure story full of incident, suspense, and excitement, from a buffalo stampede to an Indian raid, coupled with a charmingly unlikely love story between a headstrong and aristocratic young Englishwoman and a stubborn, shy, and very American product of the West, in the person of Jim Snow. At once epic, comic, and as big as the West itself, it is the kind of novel that only Larry McMurtry can write.
In The Wandering Hill, Larry McMurtry continues the story of Tasmin Berrybender and her family in the still unexplored Wild West of the 1830s, at the point in time when the Mountain Men and trappers like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson both lively characters in the book, though still alive, are already legendary figures, when the journey of Lewis and Clark is still a living memory, while the painter George Catlin is at work capturing the Mandan tribes just before they are eliminated by the incursion of the white man and smallpox, and when the clash between the powerful Indian tribes of the Missouri and the encroaching white Americans is about to turn into full blown tragedy. Amidst all this, the Berrybender family English, eccentric, wealthy, and fiercely out of place continues its journey of exploration, although beset by difficulties, tragedies, the desertion of trusted servants, and the increasing hardships of day to day survival in a land where nothing can be taken for granted. Abandoning their luxurious steamer, which is stuck in the ice near the Knife River, they make their way overland to the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone, to spend the winter in conditions of siege at the trading post of Pierre Boisdeffre, right smack in what is, from their point of view, the middle of nowhere. By now, Tasmin is a married woman, or as good as, and about to be a mother, living with the elusive young mountain man Jim Snow The Sin Killer, and not only going to have his child, but to discover that he has a whole other Indian family he hasn’t told her about. On his part, Jim is about to discover that in taking the outspoken, tough minded, stubbornly practical young aristocratic woman into his teepee he has bitten off more than he can chew Tasmin doesn’t hesitate to answer back, use the name of the Lord in vain, and strike out, though she is taken aback when the quiet Jim actually strikes her. Still, theirs is a great love affair, lived out in conditions of great risk, and dominates this volume of Larry McMurtry’s Berrybender Narratives, in which Tasmin gradually takes center stage as her father loses his strength and powers of concentration, and her family goes to pieces stranded in the hostile wilderness, surrounded by interesting savages with ideas of their own and mountain men who are all of the ‘strong, silent type’ of later Western legend, and hardly less savage than the Indians. From the murder of the iced in steamship’s crew to the appearance of the Partezon, a particularly blood thirsty Sioux warrior with a band of over two hundred followers the Partezon thoughtfully buries one of Lord Berrybender’s servants alive in a gutted buffalo, ordering his feet and hands to be chopped off so he will fit into the body cavity, to see if the man can get out, The Wandering Hill which refers to a powerful and threatening legend in local Indian folklore is at once literature on a grand scale and riveting entertainment by a master storyteller.
In this tale of adventure, at once high spirited and terrifying, set against the background of the West that Larry McMurtry has made his own, By Sorrow’s River is an epic in its own right with an extraordinary young woman as its leading figure. At the heart of this third volume of his Western saga remains the beautiful and determined Tasmin Berrybender, now married to the ‘Sin Killer’ and mother to their young son, Monty, who, although Tasmin intends him to be an English gentleman like his grandfather, is at the moment living the childhood of a savage. By Sorrow’s River continues the Berrybender party’s trail across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where they intend, those who are lucky enough to survive the journey, to spend the winter. Along the way, Tasmin, whose husband, Jim Snow, has vanished off to scout ahead of them, falls in love with Pomp Charbonneau, only to see him killed by the ruthless commander of Spanish troops, while her father, Lord Berrybender, now reduced to limping along on one leg and a pair of crutches, increasingly makes a fool of himself by falling in love with his own mistress. They meet up with a vast cast of characters from the history of the West: Kit Carson, the famous scout; Le Partezon, the fearsome Sioux war chief; The Ear Taker, an Indian whose specialty is creeping up on people while they are asleep and slicing an ear off with a sharp knife; two aristocratic Frenchmen whose eccentric aim is to cross the Great Plains by hot air balloon; a party of slavers led by the cowardly but bloodthirsty Obregon; a band of raiding Pawnee; and many other astonishing characters who prove, once again, that the rolling, grassy plains are not, in fact, nearly as empty of life as they look. Most of what is there is dangerous and hostile, even when faced with Tasmin’s remarkable, frosty sangfroid. She is one of the strongest and most interesting of Larry McMurtry’s women characters, fairly resistant to shock, whether at bloodshed, the behavior of children, or sex, and at the center of this powerful and ambitious novel of the West.
In this brilliant saga the final volume of The Berrybender Narratives and an epic in its own right Larry McMurtry lives up to his reputation for delivering novels with ‘wit, grace, and more than a hint of what might be called muscular nostalgia, fit together to create a panoramic portrait of the American West’ The New York Times Book Review. As this finale opens, Tasmin and her family are under irksome, though comfortable, arrest in Mexican Santa Fe. Her father, the eccentric Lord Berrybender, is planning to head for Texas with his whole family and his retainers, English, American, and Native American. Tasmin, who would once have followed her husband, Jim Snow, anywhere, is no longer even sure she likes him, or knows where to go to next. Neither does anyone else even Captain Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, is puzzled by the great changes sweeping over the West, replacing red men and buffalo with towns and farms. In the meantime, Jim Snow, accompanied by Kit Carson, journeys to New Orleans, where he meets up with a muscular black giant named Juppy, who turns out to be one of Lord Berrybender’s many illegitimate offspring, and in whose company they make their way back to Santa Fe. But even they are unable to prevent the Mexicans from carrying the Berrybender family on a long and terrible journey across the desert to Vera Cruz. Starving, dying of thirst, and in constant, bloody battle with slavers pursuing them, the Berrybenders finally make their way to civilization if New Orleans of the time can be called that where Jim Snow has to choose between Tasmin and the great American plains, on which he has lived all his life in freedom, and where, after all her adventures, Tasmin must finally decide where her future lies. With a cast of characters that includes almost every major real life figure of the West, Folly and Glory is a novel that represents the culmination of a great and unique four volume saga of the early days of the West; it is one of Larry McMurtry’s finest achievements.
In Cadillac Jack, Larry McMurtry Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lonesome Dove proves his unique talent for conjuring up the real, often eccentric people who inhabit the American heartland and for capturing the peculiarly American search for new frontiers and adventure. Cadillac Jack is a rodeo cowboy turned antique scout whose nomadic, womanizing life centered on his classic pearl colored Cadillac rambles between the Texas flatlands of flea markets and small time auctions and Washington, D.C.’s political social life of parties, hustlers, vixens, and spies. Along the way he meets a cast of indelibly etched characters: among them, the strikingly beautiful, social climbing Cindy Sanders; Boog Miller, the tackily dressing millionaire good ole boy who patronizes Jack’s business and who has more political muscle than a litter of lobbyists; Khaki Descartes, the pushy, brain picking, Washington woman reporter; Freddy Fu, an undercover CIA agent working out of a greasy barbecue joint called The Cover Up; and Jean Arber, the mother of two and a fledgling antique store owner who can’t quite figure out if she’ll marry Jack or not. Wild, touching, and hilariously funny, Cadillac Jack is Larry McMurtry’s raucous social satire of sex, politics, and love in the fast lane, peopled with Americans only he could render.
The first time I saw Billy he came walking out of a cloud…
. Welcome to the wild, hot blooded adventures of Billy the Kid, the American West’s most legendary outlaw. Larry McMurtry takes us on a hell for leather journey with Billy and his friends as they ride, drink, love, fight, shoot, and escape their way into the shining memories of Western myth. Surrounded by a splendid cast of characters that only Larry McMurtry could create, Billy charges headlong toward his fate, to become in death the unforgettable desperado he aspires to be in life. Not since Lonesome Dove has there been such a rich, exciting novel about the cowboys, Indians, and gunmen who live at the blazing heart of the American dream.
In a letter to her daughter back East, Martha Jane is not shy about her own importance: ‘Martha Jane better known as Calamity is just one of the handful of aging legends who travel to London as part of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in Buffalo Girls. As he describes the insatiable curiosity of Calamity’s Indian friend No Ears, Annie Oakley’s shooting match with Lord Windhouveren, and other highlights of the tour, McMurtry turns the story of a band of hardy, irrepressible survivors into an unforgettable portrait of love, fellowship, dreams, and heartbreak.
The time is 1925. The place, St. Louis, Missouri. Charley Floyd, a good looking, sweet smiling country boy from Oklahoma, is about to rob his first armored car. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry and his writing partner, Diana Ossana, Pretty Boy Floyd traces the wild career of this legendary American folk hero, a young man so charming that it’s hard not to like him, even as he’s robbing you at gunpoint. From the bank heists and shootings that make him Public Enemy Number One to the women who love him, from the glamour hungry nation that worships him to the G men who track Charley down, Pretty Boy Floyd is both a richly comic masterpiece and an American tragedy about the price of fame and the corruption of innocence.
In Zeke and Ned, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana have created an American masterpiece: funny, exuberant, compelling, violent, and tragic. Set in the Cherokee Nation not Jong after the Civil War, Zeke and Ned is the story of Ezekiel Proctor and Ned Christie, the last Cherokee warriors, living men whose story is not merely legend, but history their fates a consequence of the brutal policies which produced the Trail of Tears. As a child, Zeke Proctor walked the Trail of Tears from Georgia to the Indian Territory west of Arkansas, acquiring through that bitter struggle a fierce loyalty to the Cherokee way. Though a family man and a respected member of the Cherokee Senate, Zeke the man is an adventurous charmer, with a family roving eye. Ned Christie is tall and charismatic, with waist length hair and a high cheekboned handsomeness, that appeals to women all over the Going Snake District. But Ned’s heart is set on one woman: Jewel Sixkiller Proctor, Zeke’s beautiful young daughter. And Ned’s long and determined resistance to the relentless pressure of white law unwittingly makes him a hero to the Cherokee people. Zeke and Ned is a powerful, affecting work dramatizing the long Cherokee struggle against white authority. It is, ultimately, a moving tale about love, honour, loyalty, heroism, and the human condition.
Larry McMurtry returns to the Old West in a fast moving, comic tale about a woman determined to conquer anything that stands in the way of an ultimate confrontation with her wayward husband.
In his first historical novel in ten years, Larry McMurtry introduces Mary Margaret, a nineteenth century version of the formidable, unforgettable Aurora Greenway of Terms of Endearment. Mary Margaret is married to Dickie, who hauls supplies to the forts along the Oregon Trail and, as Mary Margaret rightly suspects, enjoys the pleasures of other women across most of the frontier. Fed up and harboring a secret love of her own, she collects the kids; her brother in law, Seth; her sister, Rosie; and her cranky father and makes her way westward to settle things once and for all.
The story of their trek across the country is packed with the elements McMurtry fans love: encounters with historical figures such as Wild Bill Hickock and U.S. Army colonel Fetterman whose incompetence resulted in one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of the American West, larger than life fictional characters who join the family on their journey, and confrontations with nature at its wildest. With characters based on actual traders of the Old Santa Fe Trail, Boone’s Lick is vintage McMurtry. /Content /EditorialReview EditorialReview Source Amazon. com Review /Source Content Master storyteller Larry McMurtry unfurls a short, bright banner of a book following the fortunes of the Cecil family as they travel from Boone’s Lick, Missouri, to the Western frontier. Though the story is narrated by her oldest son, 15 year old Shay, the real hero of the book is Mary Margaret, the mother. Her husband, Dick, has left her and their four children in Boone’s Lick while he seeks his fortunes in the West. Mary Margaret lives contentedly with the children and Dick’s brother, Seth, until one day she decides she’s had enough of playing the estranged wife and packs up the entire household. And so the Cecil family leaves their little town where Wild Bill Hickok makes a cameo appearance and travels by wagon to Wyoming, accompanied along the way by a fat Qu becois priest and a Shoshone. They do find Dick, and they also arrive in Wyoming just in time for the 1866 Fetterman Massacre.
McMurtry writes with an ease that younger writers would do well to emulate. Here Seth fights off an ambush of white trash dastards:
Uncle Seth fired again and a third horse went down though just saying it went down would be to put it too mildly. The third horse turned a complete somersault. Its rider flew off about thirty feet, after which he didn’t move.
”It’s rare to see a horse turn a flip like that,’ Uncle Seth observed.’ That cool ‘observed’ gives an idea of the book’s wry, pervasive humor. But there’s more here than shooting and quipping: McMurtry’s wagon full of frustrated Missourians makes a fine narrative vehicle: we get a first hand account of the Native American wars; we get the perspective of the women left behind in the opening of the West; we get a wagon’s eye view of the hard journey of the settlers; and, ultimately, we get an insightful family romance. All that, and scalpings too. Claire Dederer
In perhaps his finest contemporary novel since Terms of Endearment, Larry McMurtry, with his miraculously sure touch at creating instantly recognizable women characters and his equally miraculous sharp eye for the absurdities of everyday life in the modern West, writes about two women, old friends, who set off on an adventure with unpredictable and sometimes hilarious results. As Loop Group opens, we meet Maggie, whose three grown up daughters have arrived at her Hollywood home to try and make her see sense about her busy life, a life that intersects with lots of interesting all right, bizarre people. Her daughters push her into having a few second thoughts about it, and these are reinforced when her best friend, Connie, seeks an escape from her own world of complex and difficult relationships with men. Maggie conceives the idea of driving to visit her Aunt Cooney’s ranch near Electric City, Texas, and the two women prepare for the trip by buying a . 38 Special revolver which leads to unexpected trouble along the way. This road trip will end by changing their lives. Alternately hilariously funny and profoundly sad even tragic Loop Group is a major Larry McMurtry novel and a joy to read.
Not since the publication of his own beloved classic Lonesome Dove has there been a novel like this one another big, brilliant, unputdownable saga of the West from Larry McMurtry. Telegraph Days is at once a major work of literature and a completely absorbing read, not just great fiction, but fiction on a great scale, encompassing many years, many characters, real and fictional, and the whole vast landscape of place, time, life, and heart, which has served for more than one hundred thirty years as the background for ‘the Western’ in fiction and on the screen. Nobody writes, or has ever written, better about the West than Larry McMurtry, and nobody has caught better in words its myths, its often brutal reality, its overwhelming size, and the way it captured both the imagination and the hopes of those who settled there, only, as was so often the case, to dash those hopes.
Told in the voice of Nellie Courtright, a spunky, courageous, attractive young woman whose story this is in part, Telegraph Days is the big novel of the Western gunfighters that people have been hoping for years Larry McMurtry would write.
When Nellie and her brother Jackson are unexpectedly orphaned by their father’s suicide on his new and unprosperous ranch, they make their way to the nearby town of Rita Blanca, where Jackson manages to secure a job as a sheriff’s deputy, while Nellie, ever resourceful, becomes the town’s telegrapher.
Together, they inadvertently put Rita Blanca on the map when young Jackson succeeds in shooting down all six of the ferocious Yazee brothers in a gunfight that brings him lifelong fame but which he can never repeat because his success came purely out of luck.
Propelled by her own energy and commonsense approach to life, Nellie meets and almost conquers the heart of Buffalo Bill, the man she will love most in her long life, and goes on to meet, and witness the exploits of, Billy the Kid, the Earp brothers, and Doc Holliday. She even gets a ringside seat at the Battle at the O.K. Corral, the most famous gunfight in Western history, and eventually lives long enough to see the West and its gunfighters turned into movies.
Full of life, love, shootings, real Western heroes and villains, Telegraph Days is Larry McMurtry at his epic best, in his most ambitious Western novel since Lonesome Dove.
Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, Brokeback Mountain is her masterpiece. Brokeback Mountain was originally published in The New Yorker. It won the National Magazine Award. It also won an O. Henry Prize. Included in this volume is Annie Proulx’s haunting story about the difficult, dangerous love affair between a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy. Also included is the celebrated screenplay for the major motion picture ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. All three writers have contributed essays on the process of adapting this critically acclaimed story for film.
Writing with characteristic grace and wit, Larry McMurtry tackles the full spectrum of his favorite themes from sex, literature, and cowboys to rodeos, small town folk, and big city slickers. First published in 1968, In a Narrow Grave is the classic statement of what it means to come from Texas. In these essays, McMurtry opens a window into the past and present of America’s largest state. In his own words: ‘Before I was out of high school, I realized I was witnessing the dying of a way of life the rural, pastoral way of life. In the Southwest the best energies were no longer to be found on the homeplace, or in the small towns; the cities required these energies and the cities bought them…
.’ ‘I recognized, too, that the no longer open but still spacious range on which my ranching family had made its livelihood…
would not produce a livelihood for me or for my siblings and their kind…
. The myth of the cowboy grew purer every year because there were so few actual cowboys left to contradict it…
.’ ‘I had actually been living in cities for fourteen years when I pulled together these essays; intellectually I had been a city boy, but imaginatively, I was still trudging up the dusty path that led out of the country…
A noted screenwriter himself, Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurtry knows his Hollywood. In Film Flam, he takes a funny, original, and penetrating look at the movie industry and gives us the truth about the moguls, fads, flops, and box office hits. With successful movies and television miniseries made from several of his novels Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, and Hud McMurtry writes with an outsider’s irony of the industry and an insider’s experience. In these essays he illuminates the plight of the screenwriter, cuts a clean, often hilarious path through the excesses of film reviewing, and takes on some of the worst trends in the industry: the decline of the Western, the disappearance of love in the movies, and the quality of the stars themselves. From his recollections of the day Hollywood entered McMurtry’s own life as he ate meat loaf in Fort Worth to the pleasures he found in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Film Flam is one of the best books ever written about Hollywood.
Legends cloud the life of Crazy Horse, a seminal figure of American history but an enigma even to his own people in his own day. Yet his story remains an encapsulation of the Native American tragedy and the death of the untamed West. Crazy Horse strips away the tall tales to reveal the essence of this brilliant, ascetic warrior hero. Larry McMurtry’s vivid, carefully considered, succinct biography will lure not only his own fans but history buffs, Western enthusiasts, students of all things Native American, and anyone concerned with the white man’s atonement and restitution to native peoples. In a portrait that only he could render, Larry McMurtry captures the poignant passing of a time and offers a vibrant new understanding of the mythic Crazy Horse and what he stood for.
In a lucid, brilliant work of nonfiction as close to an autobiography as his readers are likely to get Larry McMurtry has written a family portrait that also serves as a larger portrait of Texas itself, as it was and as it has become. Using as a springboard an essay by the German literary critic Walter Benjamin that he first read in Archer City’s Dairy Queen, McMurtry examines the small town way of life that big oil and big ranching have nearly destroyed. He praises the virtues of everything from a lime Dr. Pepper to the lost art of oral storytelling, and describes the brutal effect of the sheer vastness and emptiness of the Texas landscape on Texans, the decline of the cowboy, and the reality and the myth of the frontier. McMurtry writes frankly and with deep feeling about his own experiences as a writer, a parent, and a heart patient, and he deftly lays bare the raw material that helped shape his life’s work: the creation of a vast, ambitious, fictional panorama of Texas in the past and the present. Throughout, McMurtry leaves his readers with constant reminders of his all encompassing, boundless love of literature and books.
I wanted to drive the American roads at the century’s end, to look at the country again, from border to border and beach to beach…
. ‘From earliest boyhood the American road has been part of my life central to it, I would even say. The ranch house in which I spent my first seven years sits only a mile from highway 281, the long road that traverses the central plains, all the way from Manitoba to the Mexican border at McAllen, Texas. In winter I could hear the trucks crawling up 281 as I went to sleep. In summer I would sit on the front porch with my parents and grandparents, watching the lights of cars as they traveled up and down that road. We were thoroughly landlocked. I had no river to float on, to wonder about. Highway 281 was my river, its hidden reaches a mystery and an enticement. I began my life beside it and I want to drift down the entire length of it before I end this book. ‘Other than curiosity, there’s no particular reason for these travels just the old desire to be on the move. My destination is also my route, my motive only an interest in having the nomad in me survive a little longer. I’m not attempting to take the national pulse, or even my own pulse. I doubt that I will be having folksy conversations with people I meet as I travel. Today, in fact, I drove 770 miles, from Duluth, Minnesota, to Wichita, Kansas, speaking only about twenty words: a thank you at a Quik Stop south of Duluth, where I bought orange juice and doughnuts; a lunch order in Bethany, Missouri; and a request for a room once I got to Wichita…
. ‘I intend to travel mainly on the great roads, the interstates: my routes will be the 10, the 40, the 70, 80, and 90; or if I’m in the mood to go north south, I will mostly use the 5, the 25, 35, 75. The 95 I intend to ignore. I will, from time to time, switch off the interstates onto smaller roads, but only if they provide useful connectives, or take me to interesting places that the great roads whose aim is to move you, not educate you don’t yet go…
. ‘Three passions have dominated my more than sixty years of mostly happy life: books, women, and the road. As age approaches, the appetite for long drives may leave me, which is why I want to get rolling now…
. ‘The challenge of the solitary traveler is always the same: to find something out there that the reader will enjoy knowing about, or, at least, that the reader can be persuaded to read about. Usually, if there is no one but themselves in the narrative, the great travel writers rely on the extremes to which the environment forces them to produce the interest: Antarctica, and the failure of Scott to beat it, in Apsley Cherry Garrard’s The Worst Journey in the World or Arabia’s Empty Quarter and the ability of the Bedouin to just beat it, in Wilfred Thesiger’s Arabian Sands. ‘I don’t think I’m likely to encounter anything so extreme as the snows of Antarctica or the dunes of Arabia along the American interstates. At least I hope not. But I want to drive them anyway…
just to see what I see. I merely want to write about the roads as I find them, starting in January of 1999, in Duluth, Minnesota, at the north end of the long and lonesome 35.’ LARRY McMURTRY
At once an inviting travel book and an insightful reflection on his parents’ marriage, Paradise is Larry McMurtry’s most original and personal work to date. In 1999, Larry McMurtry, whose wanderlust had been previously restricted to the roads of America, set off for a trip to the Paradise of Tahiti and the South Sea Islands in an old fashioned tub of a cruise boat, at a time when his mother was slipping toward a Paradise of her own. Opening up to her son in her final days, his mother makes a stunning revelation of a previous marriage and sends McMurtry on a journey of an entirely different kind. Vividly, movingly, and with infinite care, McMurtry paints a portrait of his parents’ marriage against the harsh, violent landscape of west Texas. It is their roots laced with overtones of hard work, bitter disappointment, and the Puritan ethic that McMurtry challenges by traveling to Tahiti, a land of lush sensuality and easy living. With fascinating detail, shrewd observations, humorous pathos, and unforgettable characters, he begins to answer some of the questions of what Paradise is, whether it exists, and how different it is from life in his hometown of Archer City, Texas. Filled with moments as strong and moving as any found in his novels, Paradise is a penetrating look at life and love from one of America’s most beloved writers.
New in paperbackWhat was achieved and destroyed, what was made up and forgotten in the American West as the continent was mapped, the natives were displaced, and exploits were transformed into legends? In this acclaimed collection, Larry McMurtry profiles explorers and martyrs, hucksters and scholars figures in the West’s enduring yet ever shifting mixture of myth and reality. In these twelve pieces, McMurtry explores John Wesley Powell’s journey on the Colorado, the dispossession of the Five Civilized Tribes, the fascination the Zuni held over a parade of unscrupulous anthropologists, and in the bicentennial of their journey the journals of Lewis and Clark, ‘our only really American epic.’
In Oh What a Slaughter, Larry McMurtry has written a unique, brilliant, and searing history of the bloody massacres that marked and marred the settling of the American West in the nineteenth century, and which still provoke immense controversy today. Here are the true stories of the West’s most terrible massacres Sacramento River, Mountain Meadows, Sand Creek, Marias River, Camp Grant, and Wounded Knee, among others. These massacres involved Americans killing Indians, but also Indians killing Americans, and, in the case of the hugely controversial Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, Mormons slaughtering a party of American settlers, including women and children. McMurtry’s evocative descriptions of these events recall their full horror, and the deep, constant apprehension and dread endured by both pioneers and Indians. By modern standards the death tolls were often small Custer’s famous defeat at Little Big Horn in 1876 was the only encounter to involve more than two hundred dead yet in the thinly populated West of that time, the violent extinction of a hundred people had a colossal impact on all sides. Though the perpetrators often went unpunished, many guilty and traumatized men felt compelled to tell and retell the horrors they had committed. From letters and diaries, McMurtry has created a moving and swiftly paced narrative, as memorable in its way as such classics as Evan S. Connell’s Son of the Morning Star and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. In Larry McMurtry’s own words: ‘I have visited all but one of these famous massacre sites the Sacramento River massacre of 1846 is so forgotten that its site near the northern California village of Vina can only be approximated. It is no surprise to report that none of the sites are exactly pleasant places to be, though the Camp Grant site north of Tucson does have a pretty community college nearby. In general, the taint that followed the terror still lingers and is still powerful enough to affect locals who happen to live nearby. None of the massacres were effectively covered up, though the Sacramento River massacre was overlooked for a very long time. ‘But the lesson, if it is a lesson, is that blood in time, and, often, not that much time will out. In case after case the dead have managed to assert a surprising potency. ‘The deep, constant apprehension, which neither the pioneers nor the Indians escaped, has, it seems to me, been too seldom factored in by historians of the settlement era, though certainly it saturates the diary literature of the pioneers, particularly the diary literature produced by frontier women, who were, of course, the likeliest candidates for rapine and kidnap.’
From the early 1800s to the end of his life in 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody was as famous as anyone could be. Annie Oakley was his most celebrated protegee, the ‘slip of a girl’ from Ohio who could and did outshoot anybody to become the most celebrated star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In this sweeping dual biography, Larry McMurtry explores the lives, the legends and above all the truth about two larger than life American figures. With his Wild West show, Buffalo Bill helped invent the image of the West that still exists today cowboys and Indians, rodeo, rough rides, sheriffs and outlaws, trick shooting, Stetsons, and buckskin. The short, slight Annie Oakley born Phoebe Ann Moses spent sixteen years with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, where she entertained Queen Victoria, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and Kaiser Wilhelm II, among others. Beloved by all who knew her, including Hunkpapa leader, Sitting Bull, Oakley became a legend in her own right and after her death, achieved a new lease of fame in Irving Berlin’s musical Annie, Get Your Gun. To each other, they were always ‘Missie’ and ‘Colonel’. To the rest of the world, they were cultural icons, setting the path for all that followed. Larry McMurtry a writer who understands the West better than any other recreates their astonishing careers and curious friendship in a fascinating history that reads like the very best of his fiction.
In a prolific life of singular literary achievement, Larry McMurtry has succeeded in a variety of genres: in coming of age novels like ‘The Last Picture Show’; in collections of essays like ‘In a Narrow Grave’; and in the reinvention of the Western on a grand scale in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, ‘Lonesome Dove.’ Now, in ‘Books: A Memoir,’ McMurtry writes about his endless passion for books: as a boy growing up in a largely ‘bookless’ world; as a young man devouring the vastness of literature with astonishing energy; as a fledgling writer and family man; and above all, as one of America’s most prominent bookmen. He takes us on his journey to becoming an astute, adventurous book scout and collector who would eventually open stores of rare and collectible editions in Georgetown, Houston, and finally, in his previously ‘bookless’ hometown of Archer City, Texas. In this work of extraordinary charm, grace, and good humor, McMurtry recounts his life as both a reader and a writer, how the countless books he has read worked to form his literary tastes, while giving us a lively look at the eccentrics who collect, sell, or simply lust after rare volumes. ‘Books: A Memoir ‘is like the best kind of diary full of McMurtry’s wonderful anecdotes, amazing characters, engaging gossip, and shrewd observations about authors, book people, literature, and the author himself. At once chatty, revealing, and deeply satisfying, Books is, like McMurtry, erudite, life loving, and filled with excellent stories. It is a book to be savored and enjoyed again and again.
LARRY McMURTRY IS THAT RAREST OF ARTISTS, a prolific and genre transcending writer who has delighted generations with his witty and elegant prose. In Literary Life, the sequel to Books, he expounds on the private trials and triumphs of being a writer. From his earliest inkling of his future career while at Rice University, to his tenure as a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford with Ken Kesey in 1960, to his incredible triumphs as a bestselling author, this intimate and charming autobiography is replete with literary anecdotes and packed with memorable observations about writing, writers, and the author himself. It is a work to be cherished not only by McMurtry’s admirers, but by the innumerable aspiring writers who seek to make their own mark on American literature.
‘One thing I ve always liked about Hollywood is its zip, or speed. The whole industry depends to some extent on talent spotting. The hundreds of agents, studio executives, and producers who roam the streets of the city of Los Angeles let very little in the way of talent slip by.’ In this final installment of the memoir trilogy that includes Books and Literary Life, Larry McMurtry, ‘the master of the show stopping anecdote’ O: The Oprah Magazine turns his own keenly observing eye to his rollercoaster romance with Hollywood. As both the creator of numerous works successfully adapted by others for film and television Terms of Endearment, Lonesome Dove, and the Emmy nominated The Murder of Mary Phagan and the author of screenplays including The Last Picture Show with Peter Bogdanovich, Streets of Laredo, and the Oscar winning Brokeback Mountain both with longtime writing partner Diana Ossana, McMurtry has seen all the triumphs and frustrations that Tinseltown has to offer a writer, and he recounts them in a voice unfettered by sentiment and yet tinged with his characteristic wry humor. Beginning with his sudden entr e into the world of film as the author of Horseman, Pass By adapted into the Paul Newman starring Hud in 1963 McMurtry regales readers with anecdotes that find him holding hands with Cybill Shepherd, watching Jennifer Garner’s audition tape, and taking lunch at Chasen s again and again. McMurtry fans and Hollywood hopefuls alike will find much to cherish in these pages, as McMurtry illuminates life behind the scenes in America s dream factory.
The Real Western Canon Larry McMurtry, the preeminent chronicler of the American West, celebrates the best of contemporary Western short fiction, introducing a stellar collection of twenty stories that represent, in various ways, the coming of age of the legendary American frontier. Featuring a veritable Who’s Who of the century’s most distinctive writers, this collection effectively departs from the standard superstars of the Western genre. McMurtry has chosen a refreshing range of work that, when taken as a whole, depicts the evolution and maturation of Western writing over several decades. The featured tales are not so concerned with the American West of history and geography as they are with the American West of the imagination one that is alternately comic, gritty, individual, searing, and complex. Contributors Wallace Stegner Dave Hickey Dao Strom Dagoberto Gilb William Hauptman Jack Kerouac Ron Hansen Diana Ossana Robert Boswell Tom McGuane Louise Erdrich Max Apple Mark Jude Poirier Rick Bass Jon Billman Richard Ford Raymond Carver Annie Proulx Leslie Marmon Silko William H. Gass
‘An indispensable addition to the canon of Texas letters.’ Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express News A vast land combining the West, the South, and the Border, small dusty towns and gleaming modern cities, Texas has a history and identity all its own, and a mythology bigger than the Lone Star State itself. In this anthology, selected as a Southwest Book of the Year in 2003, Don Graham has rounded up a comprehensive collection of writings that provides an overview of the diversity and excellence of Texas literature and reveals its vital contribution to America’s literary landscape. The result is a sometimes rowdy, always artful panorama of fable and truth, humor and pathos all growing out of the state that continues to stimulate the collective imagination like no other. .