Larry McMurtry lives in Archer City, Texas. His novels include The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, Lonesome Dove (winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), Folly and Gloryand Rhino Ranch. His nonfiction works include a biography of Crazy Horse, Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen, Paradise, Sacagawea’s Nickname: Essays on the American West and, most recently, Custer.

IN THE REVIEW

What Woody Wrote

Woody Guthrie, circa 1950s

House of Earth

by Woody Guthrie, edited and introduced by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp
Woody Guthrie’s House of Earth was completed in 1947 but discovered only recently. It is a novel about farming; there aren’t many such. It’s a serious effort to dramatize the struggles of a young couple, Tike and Ella May Hamlin, who try to make a living as farm laborers in the most unforgiving years of an equally unforgiving place: the Texas Panhandle in the 1930s.

The Star Attraction

Geronimo at Canyon de los Embudos (Funnel Canyon), twenty-five miles south of the US–Mexico border, in 1886, the year he surrendered to US authorities

Geronimo

by Robert M. Utley
As a war cry, “Geronimo!” has certainly stood the test of time. Paratroopers in World War II yelled it as they hurled themselves into the void, and, more recently, our lethal team of killers were said to have uttered it when they surprised the bin Ladens in their compound in …

A Great Day for Books

Larry McMurtry during the ‘Last Book Sale’ at his bookstore in Archer City, Texas, August 2012
In a summer when the shoreline temperature in the Little Arkansas River reached 98 degrees—bad news for catfish—should I really have attempted to bring a bunch of citified northerners into the heart of the heart of the heat, which peaked locally at 116? Well, yes. It’s just weather, as my …

A Life for the Star

Elizabeth Taylor, 1954; photograph by Cecil Beaton

The Accidental Feminist: How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice

by M.G. Lord
If one is attempting to judge the depth and force of a woman’s feminism—the woman, in this case, being the American actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011)—surely the first thing to do is to determine exactly what feminism is. The most succinct opinion I’ve seen is the famous doormat quote from Rebecca …

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The Last Book Sale

Larry McMurtry in his bookstore in Archer City, Texas, August 6, 2012

In a summer when the shoreline temperature in the Little Arkansas River reached 98 degrees—bad news for catfish—should I really have attempted to bring a bunch of citified northerners into the heart of the heat, which peaked locally at 116? Well, yes. It’s just weather, as my popular hero Captain Woodrow Call often said if he heard a complaint. So I threw a book sale. Upward of 300,000 books went on sale in Archer City at public auction, which was conducted by the cracker-jack team of Addison and Sarova out of Macon, Georgia, where I gather the heat is wet rather than dry.

The Rick Perry Hustle

Texas Governor Rick Perry fires a gun filled with blanks at an event in downtown Fort Worth to kick off a weekend of NASCAR racing at the Texas Motor Speedway, April 15, 2010

What Perry has brought to the Republican muddle thus far is his abundant, if unfocused, energy. He rushes from debate to debate, gives many interviews, gets his picture on the cover of TIME; yet all his politicking is curiously affectless. He makes sounds, but where’s the personality? Hillary Clinton has a personality; so does Sarah Palin. Either of those women could cut Governor Perry off at the knees, and will if given the chance.

Talking About ‘True Grit’

Jeff Bridges as Rooster and Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie in a scene from True Grit (2010)

When invited by The New York Review to write about the very successful western (if it is a western; about which more follows) and Coen brothers movie adaptation of Charles Portis’s twice-filmed novel True Grit, we watched Henry Hathaway’s 1969 version starring John Wayne and Kim Darby, Joel’s and Ethan’s version, and also read Portis’s much-praised novel, on top of which we breezed through quite a few reviews, as well as portions of the production notes.

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