Much ink will be spilled celebrating the great man of letters, Larry McMurtry.
With a long, and storied career, though, what’s one that sticks with me? Over the years and miles, two points, and they both revolve around a single pane in his modern western triptych, Texasville.
First off, I was in school in Arizona, when I first read it. Read Lonesome Dove for the first time, too, around then, it was the clever banter and seemingly over-the-top descriptions of the good citizen of West Texas and next to the old, legendary oil patch.
The recollection, though, was more along the lines, early in my career, I worked a series of events, for several years, that covered much of the same ground, and I was around the characters. One literary professor, respected in his field, explained that McMurtry’s characters were clear caricatures, larger than life.
Spend enough time around the people? They are real. Not larger than life, not caricature, but real people.
A single take-away, for me. While I’ve read many of the books, Texasville remained a favorite, although, not critically acclaimed, and the movie itself bombed badly. Still, a fond memory.
The other story? Tales of a young McMurtry on the Rice campus with a t-shirt that said, “Minor Regional Novelist.”
As always, an early collection of his essays is also a favorite — “In a Narrow Grave.”