Elmer Kelton and West Texas: A Literary Relationship

Elmer Kelton and West Texas: A Literary Relationship

Elmer Kelton and West Texas: A Literary Relationship

Elmer Kelton and West Texas: A Literary Relationship

Excerpt

The flap copy on the dust jacket of Elmer Kelton's 1985 novel, Stand Proud, speaks of the Texas novelist as Mr. Kelton and refers to his "distinguished oeuvre," both strangely formal words for a man whose writing is as earthy and common sense as his personality. But Elmer Kelton, son and grandson of working cowboys, does indeed have a distinguished body of work—by 1987 it totaled twenty-seven novels, over fifty short stories published since the 1950s in magazines and anthologies, and two collections of short stories which, in effect, trace his career.

In the 1950s when Kelton began writing novels, the pulp magazines were a strong market for westerns, and ten percent of all novels published and eight out of ten television shows aired were westerns. Today, the traditional western is far less popular and not at all critically acclaimed. Commenting that western novelists are often considered provincial, a term critically applied to him more than once, Kelton has said, "A good novel of the West is just as . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.