Saturday, May 17, 2008

Five best books about the modern American West

Alexandra Fuller is the author of the recently published The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, a true story about a young man coming of age in the Wyoming oil fields.

For the Wall Street Journal, she named a five best list of books that "brilliantly evoke the modern American West." One title on her list:
The Meadow
by James Galvin
Holt, 1992

As James Galvin tells it, the patch of ground that gives "The Meadow" its name is a sort of no-man's land accidentally left off the map when lines were being drawn between Colorado and Wyoming. But the land exerts a powerful hold on the people who work it. Weaving back and forth across the past century, Galvin traces the ownership of the meadow from Appleton Worster, who homesteaded the land in 1895, to App's son, Ray, and then to Lyle Van Waning in the present day. It might be fairer to say that the men were owned by the land than the other way around: "The way people watch television while they eat -- looking up to the TV and down to take a bite and back up, that's how Lyle watches the meadow out the south window while he eats his breakfast. He's hooked on the plot and he doesn't want to miss anything."
Read about Number One on Fuller's list.

--Marshal Zeringue