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? Huffaker, Clair.  Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian.  New York: McKay, 1967. When Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian was published in 1967, Huffaker had already established himself as a novelist and screenwriter who could remain fundamentally true to the Western formula while cleverly manipulating some of its elements to…

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Originally posted on The Academe Blog:
? Henry, Will. Chiricahua.  New York: Lippincott, 1972. Henry Wilson Allen wrote Westerns under the pseudonyms Clay Fisher and Will Henry.  The novels written as Clay Fisher tend to be more like conventional Westerns, featuring heroes and villains confronting each other in somewhat generic Western settings, with a romance…

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? Hansen, Ron.  The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.  New York: Knopf, 1983. After treating the history of the Dalton gang in his first novel, Desperadoes (1979), Hansen explored the final days in the life of America’s most famous outlaw, Jesse James. The Assassination of…

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? Grey, Zane.  Riders of the Purple Sage.  New York: Harper, 1912. Trained as a dentist, Grey had a practice in New York City from 1896 to 1904.  But in 1907, he fulfilled a lifetime obsession and began a decade of travels throughout the American West.  He used these…

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Doctorow, E. L.  Welcome to Hard Times.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960. After his discharge from the army, E. L. Doctorow found a job as a script reader at Columbia Pictures.  After reading a great many scripts for Westerns, he became convinced that he could write a more…

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Originally posted on The Academe Blog:
? Clark, Walter van Tilburg.  The Track of the Cat.  New York: Random House, 1949. Walter van Tilburg Clark had one of the more puzzling careers in recent American letters.  His first novel, The Ox-Bow Incident, was widely praised, and its successful adaptation to film brought even more attention…

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Originally posted on The Academe Blog:
Capps, Benjamin. The Trail to Ogallala.  New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1964. The Trail to Ogallala is Capps’s most acclaimed novel, receiving the Spur Award of Western Writers of America, for best western novel of 1964, the Levi Strauss Golden Saddleman Award, for best western writing of 1964,…

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