The Portable Western Reader (Portable Library)

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9780140230260: The Portable Western Reader (Portable Library)

The American West is as varied in its inhabitants as in its landforms. Yet what has come to stand for "Western" writing is the myth of the wagon train and the lone gunman. In the Portable Wester Reader, William Kittredge has assembled stories, poems, essays, and excerpts that transcend the Western myth and explore the vast range of Western experience. With selections from more than seventy authors, and an introduction and headnotes by William Kittredge. The Portable Western Reader redefines the Western literary landscape.

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From Library Journal:

This original paperback anthology is jam-packed with good reading. Part 1, "Ancient Stories," shows the evolution of Native American storytelling from the early legends to contemporary stories and includes writings by Catherine McClellan, John Graves, and Louise Erdrich. Parts 2 and 3 contrast the mythology of the 19th-century "Western" with the actual experience of living in the West. Most of these authors, from Walt Whitman to Larry McMurtry, will be familiar to readers. Part 4, "Brilliant Possibilities," showcases the new generation of Western writers, including Gretel Ehrlich, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Sherman Alexie. There are some curious selections: a piece by Ernest Hemingway, who did not write widely about the West, for instance, and some notable omissions. Mari Sandoz was obviously chosen over Willa Cather, and there is nothing from Jack Shaffer, whose classic Shane helped redefine the Western hero, or Owen Wister, who wrote The Virginian. Nonetheless, Kittredge, the editor of The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology (Univ. of Washington, 1990. pap.), has collected a wonderful selection of classic Western writing. Recommended for all libraries.?Charlotte L. Glover, Ketchikan P.L., Alaska
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Western educator and writer Kittredge is marvelously eloquent in introducing this significant anthology. "The almost endless variety of societies and territories in the American West speak to me in a single voice," he admits. "Think of the layers of history, both hideous and sweet, which have been acted out on the enormous run of staging grounds between South Dakota and San Francisco." The literature of the American West is definitely coming into its own as a recognized body of letters. Representative fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, in whole or in part, are featured in the vibrant pages of this sampling. Native American voices mix with white, and male with female; some writers peer back to the past, others regard the future; and both mythical and real qualities of the West are explored. Louise Erdrich is not a surprising inclusion, nor are Mari Sandoz and John Steinbeck; but such names as W. H. Auden, Czeslaw Milosz, and Allen Ginsberg listed in the contents will certainly catch the reader's eye. Brad Hooper

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The American West is as varied in its inhabitants as in its landforms. Yet what has come to stand for Western writing is the myth of the wagon train and the lone gunman. In the Portable Wester Reader, William Kittredge has assembled stories, poems, essays, and excerpts that transcend the Western myth and explore the vast range of Western experience. With selections from more than seventy authors, and an introduction and headnotes by William Kittredge. The Portable Western Reader redefines the Western literary landscape. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140230260

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