Sunday, June 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Larry McMurtry

The Lonesome Dove miniseries came out in 1989. Like every other kid in the state, I watched it my family and loved it. Has there ever been a better villain than Blue Duck? After the miniseries I entered my McMurtry period. Leaving Cheyenne turned out to be one of my favorite books when I was a teenager.

One of the things I love about his writing is that McMurtry's characters are always complicated and multifaceted. The relationship between Aurora and Emma in Terms of Endearment is one of the best mother-daughter stories ever written; the cowboys in Lonesome Dove are never romanticized. I think McMurtry understands Texas and Texans better than any other writer. His writing about Texas reminds me of a great Walker Percy quote: "We love those who know the worst of us and don't turn their faces away."


  1. I must agree, sister...McMurtry is pretty terrific. Although some of his stuff is only so-so (Have you read The Loop Group? I only managed to get through half of it before I was too underwhelmed to go on.)

    So, I will join you in wishing the old bird another happy year and many more. No snese in torturing him with a rendition of Happy Birthday, I suppose!

  2. Somehow, I misread the first line as 'The Lonesome Dove author came out in 1989.' and thought to myself, "Well, that explains his work on Brokeback Mountain", minimal as it might have been... I'm not just saying this for laughs or to throw a cheap Brokeback joke into the thread. I really did read it that way and had that thought, ever so briefly, in my noggin.

    So, glasses adjusted, I must confess I never read a single Larry McMurtry novel nor did I watch the miniseries. I'm not trying to refute your claim about every kid in the state. Perhaps I was in California at the time, crunching on granola with my family out there..