In this book, Larry McMurtry (author of such great novels as The Last Picture Show and Lonesome Dove) interweaves tales about his family with stories from his life as a writer and bookseller with thoughts about an essay written by Walter Benjamin about storytelling.
McMurtry was born way out west in Texas, in dry, flat Archer County. His grandparents were true pioneers, who arrived in the area when it was still unsettled. He grew up on their stories, including one about one of their neighbors, a woman who at the age of 13 was traded to her husband for a winter's catch of skunk skins, and another about the German rancher who went out and milked his entire herd before committing suicide.
McMurtry spent his teenage years in the saddle, working as a cowboy. This book contains passages about cowboying and what it means. In 1954, he'd go off to Rice University in Houston, to study literature.
This isn't a linear autobiography, but in it McMurtry does write about his career as a writer. He talks about which of his books he's liked, which ones he can't stand, and why the western appeals so to him. He writes about who he likes to read and how he collects book. He also talks some about the filming of the Last Picture Show in Archer City, his life as a father, and his heart surgery.
This report prepared by Ann Gaines