Writing the Wild Frontier

200 Years of the Best Western Writers and Their Novels

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About the Book

For over 200 years, the American Western novel has chronicled much of the American experience, with exemplaries found in the works of James Fenimore Cooper, Bret Harte, Andy Adams, Jack Schaefer and Larry McMurtry. Alongside the roguish figure of the cowboy, the Western depicts the experiences of women and minorities as they face the hardships and deprivations of the frontier.
This text is directed at the general, informed reader who is interested in Western literature, history and culture. Exploring novels by Western authors who have achieved a high level of acclaim, it is a survey and homage to the frontier’s lasting works, detailing both the writers’ lives and their fictional creations. The author traces the development of the Western novel through biography, anecdote, summary, analysis and informed criticism, revealing the struggles and triumphs of the genre’s authors, the changing standards of the frontier story and the lasting effects of the region’s magisterial landscape.

About the Author(s)

Literary critic, biographer, essayist and novelist, Stephen J. May is the author of eleven other books, including biographies of landscape painter J.M.W. Turner, Western author Zane Grey, railroad titan William Jackson Palmer, and Pulitzer Prize winning author James A. Michener. A former university educator, he has written extensively on how the West has shaped the American identity. He lives in Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen J. May
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8898-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4822-4
Imprint: McFarland