My friend Richard Wheeler pointed me to this terrific appreciation of Elmer Kelton, one of my favorite authors, in today’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s an excerpt:
Kelton wrote dozens of conventional westerns, but he never shrank from bending the rules of the genre. As he commented in “My Kind of Heroes,” an essay collection, “I can’t write about heroes seven feet tall and invincible. I write about people five feet eight and nervous.” Even so, much of his work, including the two posthumous books, fits comfortably within the tradition of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour.
The form’s aficionados always have appreciated Kelton’s books. In 1995, based largely on the accomplishment of “The Time It Never Rained,” the Western Writers of America voted him the greatest western writer of all time. Finishing a distant second: Willa Cather.