Larry McMurtry, full name Larry Jeff McMurtry, was a prolific American author best known for his books set in Texas’s rapidly urbanising and industrialising areas. He was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on June 3, 1936, and passed away on March 25, 2021.
McMurtry Received His Education
McMurtry received his education at Rice University and North Texas State College (now University; B.A., 1958). (M.A., 1960). He taught at Texas Christian University from 1961 to 1962, Rice University from 1963 to 1969 as a lecturer in English and creative writing, and George Mason College and American University from 1970 to 1971 as a visiting professor.
McMurtry established a rare book shop in Washington, D.C., in 1971. In 1988, he also started a bookshop in his hometown of Archer City, Texas, and started the process of transforming the community into a “book town.” As a result, he eventually needed four storefronts to accommodate all the books he had added.
He bought the stock of the last significant independent bookseller in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1999. To McMurtry’s store, that acquisition brought an additional 70,000 titles. But in 2012, he held a sizable auction and sold about 300,000 books.
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McMurtry First Book
The Texas ranching region is the setting for McMurtry’s first book, Horseman, Pass By (1961; adapted for the screen as Hud, 1963). The Last Picture Show (1966; movie 1971) explores the loneliness and claustrophobia of small-town life; McMurtry received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay. With Texasville (1987), Duane’s Depressed (1999), When the Light Goes (2007), and Rhino Ranch, he continued the series that began with this book (2009).
Lonesome Dove (1985; television miniseries, 1989), a frontier epic by McMurtry, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986. Streets of Laredo, a prequel, debuted in 1997; Dead Man’s Walk, a sequel, debuted in 1995. Moving On (1970), All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers (1972), and Terms of Endearment all feature urban Houstonians (1975; film 1983).
Leaving Cheyenne (1963; adapted into Lovin’ Molly, 1974), Cadillac Jack (1982), The Desert Rose (1983), Buffalo Girls (1990; television miniseries 1995), The Evening Star (1992; film 1996), Zeke and Ned (1997), Sin Killer (2002), Loop Group (2004), and The Last Kind Words Saloon were among the other books by McMurtry (2014). He shared the best adapted screenplay Oscar with Diana Ossana for the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, which was adapted from the same-titled short story by E. Annie Proulx.
McMurtry also produced a tonne of nonfiction writing. He wrote a collection of reflections titled In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas (1968) about the distinct personality and changing demography of his home state. Essays on the American West, also known as Sacagawea’s Nickname, was a 2001 book that offered numerous meditations on Western individuals and ideas.
Oh What a Slaughter: Massacres in the American West, 1846-1890, his book that chronicled some of the brutal incidents that happened during the period of American Western expansion (2005). William F. Cody’s Wild West show was chronicled in The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America (2005). Along with Crazy Horse (1999), a biography of the Sioux chief Crazy Horse, and Custer (2012), a biography of the tragic Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, were also written by McMurtry.
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Reflections on Sixty and Beyond (1999), Books: A Memoir (2008), Roads: Driving America’s Great Highways (2000), Paradise (2002), Literary Life: A Second Memoir (2009), and Hollywood: A Third Memoir (2010) all contained references to aspects of McMurtry’s own life (2010).