Larry McMurtry’s Struggle Against Anti-Gentile Prejudice

Here’s an excerpt from the new biography, Larry McMurtry: A Life by Tracy Daugherty:

She [McMurtry’s literary agent Dorothea Oppenheimer] gave [Editor Michael Korda] an earful about how East Coast reviewers just didn’t get McMurtry though to be fair he had been generally well received, not just as warmly as she wished. It was, she thought, a question of urban prejudice. They just couldn’t take seriously a novelist who’d been born in Archer City, Texas and was raised as a cowhand and wrote about life in Texas. Korda conceded there was a good deal of truth in this. The prevailing tone of American fiction at the time was urban, Jewish and Eastern. The West was seen in the eye of the literati as a colossal mistake… Publishers by and large lived in New York City…and most of them were progressive… Liberal… McMurtry’s focus on the past and certain, largely white, American traditions tended to puzzle Eastern book people or it left them cold.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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