Posted by: jackslife | August 26, 2009

Death of a Texan

The inimitable Bill Kaufman has a piece on West Texas author Elmer Kelton, who died over the weekend.  Great article on one of the legends of the Western genre.  To be honest, I have not read much of Kelton.  I have started his novel, “The Good Old Boys”, but haven’t finished it yet.  He does seem to touch on the themes that I love about cowboys and the west, namely open space, a love of one’s avocation, and a mistrust of “progress”.  Kaufman paints him as being one of the great regional writers, and not just a great Western or cowboy writer.  He’s a sage of the plains, and not just an author of a genre that often gets a bad rap as being nothing more than pulp material.  RIP to one of my corner of the world’s hidden treasures.



  1. One of my highlights as a reciter of cowboy poetry was when Elmer bought one of my poetry albums and asked me to sign it for him. We then had a great chat about one of my favorite poets, S. Omar Barker whom Elmer was good friends with. Besides being such an amazing writer, he was sure a humble, kind person.

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