Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande
So much of the history of the American West is represented in Texas. From the struggles of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo in 1836, to the creation and exploits of the Texas Rangers, to the cattle drives and the beginning of the ranching era in the 1880s, to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the history of Texas provided material for writers. But from this history, authors of books and newspaper articles have created certain myths and stereotypes of Texas and its people. In the anthology, Graham “provides through fiction, autobiography, and a few discursive essays an overview of the diversity, excellence, and characteristic tropes of Texas writing.”
The book is divided into four sections, The West, The South, The Border, and Town and City. In each section, Graham has included authors whose writings have left an impact on western literature and historiography. Andy Adams, a cowboy who wrote about his life on the trail in the 1880s, represents the cattle drive. Walter Prescott Webb, a scholar who accurately described the arid environment and struggle for survival, represents the reality of the Plains. And Dorothy Scarborough, who never adjusted to western life, sadly portrays the life of a pioneer woman in a dry windy land.
The anthology also includes selections from present-day authors like Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, Elmer Kelton, North of the Big River, and Billy Lee Branner, The Gay Place.
Lone Star Literature is a wonderful anthology that readers of western literature should have on their shelves.