From Hopalong to Hud

Thoughts on Western Fiction

978-0-89096-189-6 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
212 pp.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000


  • Paperback $19.95 s
1979 Best Book Award, presented by the Texas Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Many books and innumerable articles have been published on the subject of “Westerns” since 1960, but the emphasis has been almost entirely on Western movies. Not much attention has been paid to the fiction of and about the American West. This book begins with the assumption that the novel of the West is a sort of autobiography of the West and that the writing must be studied if we are to see what our fiction reveals about ourselves. In these eleven essays C. L. Sonnichsen looks at both popular and “serious” fiction, starting with a consideration of what the West means to America and the world and going on to discuss a number of topics that act as mirrors to our prejudices and emotions. What does our fiction show has happened to our feelings about the Mexican over the last century? About violence? About sex? About the mythical West? The author’s final chapter suggests other doors that should be opened—other topics of Western fiction that should be investigated and discussed. In scope and variety of approaches this book is unique. Some chapters will provoke heated disagreement, but the subject is timely. Nothing is more interesting to us than ourselves, and these essays tell something about who and what we are.

Published by Texas A&M University Press