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Reviews 257 Mexico to Colorado. His life ended in Brown’s H ole in 1900, when he was shot from ambush by “regulator” Tom Horn. Accounts of Huddleston’s adventures and misadventures are scattered, fragmentary, sometimes contradictory. They suggest more than they tell, and they tease a historian with short glimpses of what must have been a sometimes heroic, sometimes pathetic, always complex man. T he dearth of reliable bio­ graphical material helps to make Huddleston a nearly fabulous figure. In One M ore R iver to Cross, W illHenry has taken Ned Huddleston’s career and set out “to follow it in spirit,to mark it in memory, to restore it to its rightful place among the classic strange true tales of the American herit­ age.” And so he has written an exciting novel that is remarkably faithfulto the known facts of the black cowboy’s early life and young manhood. Yetit is unmistakably a novel with all the usual W ill Henry gusto, drive, and crafts­ manship in characterization, action, and dialogue. As a novelist, Henry is somewhat handicapped by his fidelity to available facts. Occasionally characters are introduced who seem to be supernumeraries, unnecessary to move the story or heighten a conflict. They were discovered, one suspects, by conscientious research, and the novelist has used them because they were “really there.” But these are minor, very occasional distractions in an absorbing and unusual novel. T he dramatic resolution of the story’s final conflict could easily occasion the kind of criticism and defense recently provoked by W illiam Styron’s attempt to recreate the life of Nat Turner. Any novelist who deals with the struggles of a black man in a racist society must inevitably make hard choices in the development of character and plot. W ill Henry has faced his own choices squarely and has written a fascinating, provocative novel. E v e r e t t L. J ones, University of California, Los Angeles Southwest W riters Anthology. Edited by Martin Shockley. (Austin: SteckVaughn , 1967. 348 pages, $2.95.) Professor Shockley’s handy, soft-cover anthology overlaps and yet comple­ ments such regional collections as C. L. Sonnichsen’s Southwest in Life and Literature (1962), George Sessions Perry’s R oundup Tim e (1943), and Mabel 258 Western American Literature Major and Rebecca W. Smith’s Southwest in Literature (1929). Also, this latest Southwest anthology is a handmaiden to the first of a continuing series of critical pamphlets in Steck-Vaughn’s attractive Southwest Writers Series. In this collection of folk songs and tales, biographical and historical essays, poetry, and fiction, the state best represented is the editor’s own Texas —perhaps because Texas, along with less populated New Mexico, lures more artists than either Arizona or Oklahoma. Besides adhering to geographical stipulation—Southern Colorado but not Southern California is “Southwest”— the editor has made his selections with an objective eye to their cultural and formal values. But each selection also has passed the editor’s subjective test of memorableness. The volume’s simple-to-complex organization and full critical- histor­ ical apparatus advance its pedagogical utility, but should not alienate the general reader or Western scholar. Mountain and desert, pine and cactus, flood and drouth naturally figure as background or foreground for a variety of peoples and occupations in the Land of Extremes. Selections treating Anglos and Cattle Culture outnumbers others, but in the non-Melting Pot of the Southwest, Indian, Spanish-American, and Negro, too, have added their mite to English Southwest literature— as the efforts of John Joseph Matthews, Amcrico Paredes, and J. Mason Brewer testify. Other contributors: John C. Duval, Mary Austin, J. Frank Dobie, Charles Goodnight, Marquis James, Paul Horgan, Joseph W ood Krutch, W illiam A. Owens, George Sessions Perry, Walter Prescott Webb, Charles A. Sirengo, Stanley Vestal, John Graves, Roy Bedichek, Oliver La Farge, Ruth Averitte, Berta Hart Nance, Haniel Long, W itter Bynner, W hitney Montgomery, Vaida Montgomery, Fay Yauger, Arthur Sampley, Gene Shuford, Everett A. Gillis, Thomas Whitbread, W illiam D. Barney, George Milburn, Larry McMurtry, Conrad Richter, Fred Gipson, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Alice Marriott, Andy Adams, John Thomason, Tom Lea, O. Henry, Katherine Anne Porter...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 257-258
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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