Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Western Writer Elmer Kelton Dead at 83

Born at Horse Camp on the Five Wells Ranch in 1926, American journalist and novelist Elmer Kelton walked the walk when he described the American west he wrote about in over 40 novels and 60 books over a full half century.

Kelton’s wife of 62 years, Ann, told The New York Times that her husband died August 22nd of “various causes.” The author’s health had been deteriorating throughout the year, even preventing him from completing the novel he had in progress.

From The New York Times’ obituary:
For example, in “The Good Old Boys” (1978), a novel set in 1906 that was later made into a television movie directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hewey Calloway, an aging cowboy with a self-destructive streak, grapples with the onset of modern times, as automobiles and 20th-century thinking encroach on the Texas frontier.

“I have often been asked how my characters differ from the traditional, larger-than-life heroes of the mythical West,” Mr. Kelton said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News in 2007. “ ‘Those,’ I reply, ‘are seven feet tall and invincible. My characters are 5-8 and nervous.’ ”
You can read that obituary here. The “Kelton Story” is here. A family written obituary appeared in Kelton’s local newspaper, The San Angelo Standard-Times, is here.



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