It’s the birthday of Larry McMurtry (books by this author), born in Wichita Falls, Texas (1936). His early novels were set in the Southwest, on the frontier and in small towns. They included Horseman, Pass By (1961) and The Last Picture Show (1966), which were both made into movies. Then in 1981, he wrote an essay in The Texas Observer in which he said that “the cowboy myth” had become “an inhibiting, rather than a creative, factor in our literary life,” and that “there was really no more that needed to be said about it.” The future of Texas literature was urban, he said: “Now what we need is a Balzac, a Dickens.” But a few years later, he published one of his best books, Lonesome Dove (1985), a historical novel about a cattle drive, and it won a Pulitzer Prize.
He said: “True maturity is only reached when a man realizes he has become a father figure to his girlfriends’ boyfriends — and he accepts it.”