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Larry McMurtry Biography

(1936– ), Anything for Billy, Horseman, Pass By, Lonesome Dove, Streets of Laredo, Moving On

books hud texas billy

American novelist, born in Wichita Falls, Texas, educated at North Texas State in Denton and at Rice University in Houston. McMurtry's father and grandfather were both cattlemen; his books reveal a nostalgia for the values of the Old West, though he is shrewdly aware that its reputation has been inflated by myth, a process he has attempted to reverse in books like Anything for Billy (1988), which presents Billy the Kid as an inept gunman living in a world of senseless violence. On the other hand, he has little time for the modern age, most memorably represented in the figure of Hud in Horseman, Pass By (1961); Hud is a self-centred, amoral man with no respect for anything but commercial profit. Although Lonesome Dove (1985; Pulitzer Prize) and its sequel, Streets of Laredo (1993), concentrate on the mixed glories of the Texas past, books like Moving On (1970) and The Desert Rose (1983) deal with the bittersweet realities of the modern-day survivor. The Late Child (1995) and Dead Man's Walk (1995) are recent novels. His books belong to the mainstream aesthetic of the realist novel; although he is not a literary innovator, he has shown a curiosity about other kinds of aesthetic, as seen in his portrayal of a writer in All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers (1972). Many of his books have been filmed, including Hud (1961) and The Last Picture Show (1966).

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