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Sunday, September 24, 2023


UH displays award-winning author’s work

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The novel follows two ex-Texas rangers on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana.  “Lonesome Dove” was later adapted into a popular miniseries on CBS starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall.

Julie Grob associate librarian in special collections at UH said the book is “an epic story about the end of the old West that is both literary and exciting.”

Some of McMurtry’s early manuscripts, screenplays and essays are housed in the special collections section of the UH library.

“The most amazing thing in the collection is the early typescript drafts of Lonesome Dove,” Grob said. “What I love are the pages where he outlines the novel and tries to come up with character names”

McMurtry also co-wrote the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain with author Diana Ossana.  The movie was based on a short story by author Annie Proulx and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best screenplay.

The bulk of the papers were bought from McMurtry in the 1980’s along with a few smaller sets of materials purchased from rare book dealers.  McMurtry lived in Houston in the 1960’s while completing his Master’s degree at Rice University.

Also in the collection are a few letters between him and his former employer Grace David, who owned a bookstore in Houston at the time.

All of the materials in the McMurtry collection are preserved in acid-free folders and boxes and kept in climate-controlled, secured areas to prevent deterioration. Special collections is free and open to the public with a valid license or a Cougar One card.

Grob said she hopes the 25th anniversary will revive public interest in McMurtry and his works in the UH library.

“Larry McMurtry took the Western, usually seen as a second-class genre, and elevated it into great literature,” she said.

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