Essay by John R. Erickson in American Cowboy: "Elmer Kelton"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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Hi Hank Readers, 

We hope you enjoy this essay by John Erickson! In the article, published in American Cowboy magazine's August issue, the author of Hank the Cowdog reflects on Texan literary legend, Elmer Kelton. 

 

From the article: 

"...With hopes of my own literary accolades, I left the small Texas town in which I was raised in 1962 for the University of Texas then Harvard University, planning to become the next Hemingway, adored in New York parlors.

At some point, I realized I was a fifth-generation Texan, and that I couldn’t wash it off. I went back home, started cowboying for $500 a month, and wrote for cow papers, including the Livestock Weekly, which Kelton edited for 22 years.

At the time I met him, I hadn’t read any of his novels. When I finally got around to reading The Time It Never Rained, I was astounded by how good it was. Every word, every sentence, every line of description was a work of high craftsmanship; the book as a whole was a quiet masterpiece. Reading it, I wasn’t sure whether I should stand up and cheer, or weep because I hadn’t written it myself...."

 

You can read the entire story on American Cowboy's website, here.

or http://americancowboy.com/article/elmer-kelton-good-man-ride-river-23776