A biography of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry. In over forty books, in a career that spanned over sixty years, Larry McMurtry staked his claim as a superior chronicler of the American West, and as the Great Plains' keenest witness since Willa Cather and Wallace Stegner. Larry McMurtry: A Life traces his origins as one of the last American writers who had direct contact with this country's pioneer traditions.
Daugherty paints a vivid picture of the novelist ... The result of dogged research and sharp analysis — this is a wonderfully absorbing book, on par with McMurtry’s own enduring work ... Daugherty doesn’t play at being a psychologist, but his insights into McMurtry’s personality, backed up by the novelist’s letters and books, are fascinating ... Daugherty writes with sensitivity about McMurtry’s later years ... Excellent.
Episodic this biography is. It’s also vastly entertaining ... Reads a bit like one of McMurtry’s novels. Elegy and humor bleed into each other. This biography contains many sentences that verge on the humorous ... He rakes his material into a story that has movement; he’s a good reader of the novels; he has an eye for anecdote and the telling quote ... Comprehensive.
A very readable and even impressive biography, Tracy Daugherty discusses all of McMurtry’s books with both authority and affection. Mr. Daugherty is also absorbing when he writes about McMurtry’s personal life and his nonwriting literary life, which were melded into one ... Mr. Daugherty is equally good recounting McMurtry’s time in California as a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and his career as a rare-book dealer in Washington, D.C.