Pastures of the Empty Page: Fellow Writers on the Life and Legacy of Larry McMurtry (Hardcover)

Pastures of the Empty Page: Fellow Writers on the Life and Legacy of Larry McMurtry By George Getschow (Editor) Cover Image
By George Getschow (Editor)
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A collection of essays that offers an intimate view of Larry McMurtry, America’s preeminent western novelist, through the eyes of a pantheon of writers he helped shape through his work over the course of his unparalleled literary life.

When he died in 2021, Larry McMurtry was one of America’s most revered writers. The author of treasured novels such as Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show, and coauthor of the screenplays for Brokeback Mountain and Streets of Laredo, McMurtry created unforgettable characters and landscapes largely drawn from his life growing up on the family’s hardscrabble ranch outside his hometown of Archer City, Texas. Pastures of the Empty Page brings together fellow writers to honor the man and his impact on American letters.

Paulette Jiles, Stephen Harrigan, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, and Lawrence Wright take up McMurtry’s piercing and poetic vision—an elegiac literature of place that demolished old myths of cowboy culture and created new ones. Screenwriting partner Diana Ossana reflects on their thirty-year book and screenwriting partnership; other contributors explore McMurtry’s reading habits and his passion for bookselling. And brother Charlie McMurtry shares memories of their childhood on the ranch. In contrast to his curmudgeonly persona, Larry McMurtry emerges as a trustworthy friend and supportive mentor. McMurtry was famously self-deprecating, but as his admirers attest, this self-described “minor regional writer” was an artist for the ages.

About the Author

George Getschow is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for National Reporting and winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for distinguished writing about the underprivileged. He has earned numerous other awards for his writing and was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2012 for “distinctive literary achievement.” Today, as director of the Archer City Writers Workshop, he helps organize and conduct annual writing workshops in Archer City for professional writers and college and high school students from across the country.

Praise For…

A conclave of writers gathers to consider the late Larry McMurtry (1936-2021). . . . Sprinkled with surprising revelations, this is a good collection for every McMurtry fan’s library.
— Kirkus

The elegiac remembrances offer intimate glimpses into McMurtry’s life (collaborator Diana Ossana recalls the “emotional breakdown” he suffered after a heart attack), with no shortage of surprises. . . . McMurtry’s fans will want to track this down.
— Publishers Weekly

More than three dozen writers contemplate the legacy of Texas’s most beloved author. . . a moving tribute.
— Andrew Graybill

McMurtry, who died in 2021, famously referred to himself as a 'minor regional writer.' In this Festschrift, a host of authors and close friends, including his longtime screenwriting partner Diana Ossana, argue the opposite in essays that celebrate the author’s talents, contributions to literature, and mentoring of other writers.
— Alta

This book is part eulogy, part memoir, part literary criticism. All of it is absorbing . . . Among the pleasures of Pastures of the Empty Page are the short biographical sketches of the contributors dangled like literary gifts at the end of each piece.
— Austin-American Statesman

The essays in Getschow's book consider McMurtry's position in the pantheon of great literature — along with a critical take on how he wrote about minority groups.
— Axios Dallas

In Pastures of the Empty Page, Getschow defines how each writer, by various avenues, was dealt an education in storytelling by McMurtry, the sensitive but formidable master of chronicling this region’s built and behavioral vernaculars.
— Patron Magazine

On the whole, the quality of the [contributed] pieces is gratifyingly high.  Some of the richest essays are evocative reminiscences by intimates, among them Ossana, Gregory Curtis, Mike Evans, and Beverly Lowry, all of whom served as sources for Daugherty.
— The Times Literary Supplement

Pastures of the Empty Page: Fellow Writers on the Life and Legacy of Larry McMurtry (University of Texas Press) edited by George Getchow, contains essays from a who’s who list of Texas writers about Larry McMurtry’s influence on Texas culture and their lives. It includes an array of reflections on history and the writing process as well as anecdotes about McMurtry’s off-beat and innovative life.
— Texas Observer

For any writer who writes because they are drawn by some semi-articulable sense of the craft’s Importance (that is to say, most writers) these essays will provide glimpses and quirks and no-bullshit motivations of a literary giant who, as the book hammers home more than any other point, changed the literary landscape and possibilities for Texas . . . The hardest part about reading Pastures of the Empty Page is never getting to read McMurtry in its pages. Instead, he is the subject of writers plenty capable of stirring something in a reader, so capable that someone reading this collection who has never actually read McMurtry must think that his writing is literal magic, able to do something even more powerful than any of these essays could.
— D Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9781477327876
ISBN-10: 1477327878
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English