In Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, John Grady Cole was born in Texas and raised for perhaps 15 of his 16 years by a family of Mexican origin. A close inspection of his Latin American cultural attachments belies the critical readings of the character, which generally describe him as Anglo-American (in a cultural sense) who is a native speaker of English. McCarthy destabilizes the mythic cowboy through Cole, who performs a Mexican-American identity in Texas and Mexico. This article reexamines the cultural geography of the Grady-Cole homestead, the town of San Angelo, and the South and West Texas border area to offer new perspectives on John Grady’s cultural identity.


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