America Re-Imagined, in Retrospect: Fifty Notable American Novels about the “West”: 45-46.


Swarthout, Glendon.  The Shootist.  Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975.

Glendon Swartout’s achievement has been recognized with a number of prestigious awards: the Theatre Guild Playwriting Award in 1947; the Hopwood Award in Fiction in 1948; the O. Henry Prize for the Short Story in 1960; the National Society of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in 1972; and the Owen Wister Award from the Western Writers of America in recognition of his whole body of work in 1991.  Nevertheless, because his novels were commercially successful and often adapted into popular films, his literary reputation has suffered.

The Shootist is Swartout’s best known novel.  Although it received the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America in 1975, its adaptation to film has insured that it will be remembered longer than Swartout’s other novels.  The film adaptation was the last film in which John Wayne starred.  Critically ill with a recurrence…

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