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394 Western American Literature from the Western Writers of America and a Best Novel Shamus from the Private Eye Writers of America. To date he has published twelve Western novels, fifteen crime novels and one book of nonfiction, in addition to scores of short stories, articles and essays. In this post-Saturday Evening Post era, it is refreshing to find the art of the American short story, once a most respected and valued literary form, featured in this volume which its editors claim repre­ sents the best short Western fiction of Estleman’s career to date. Moving gracefully and easily between the American West of the late 1800s and the contemporary American West, this collection of twelve short stories shows Estleman examining the drama of the human spirit in conflict with itself and with the natural as well as created environments in a variety of settings and timeframes. Favoring the surprise ending over the imperative of a moral-bound plot, Estleman proves himself a fine wordsmith as he crafts his stories with considerable care, as is illustrated in these examples: The Crow was small for a plains tribesman, dark as a rifle stock, and though he knew English at least as well as German-born A1 Decker, he used words the way a man stranded in the desert rations water. (“Rossiter’s Stand” 34) His grip was like his speech, controlled strength in a guise of softness. (“The Pilgrim” 51) Prozini and Greenberg’s introduction provides a useful overview of Estleman’s career wherein they claim that “Western fiction is his one true metier” (xi). The volume concludes with a thoughtful essay by Estleman on the role of sex and violence in the Western novel. What Western fiction needs most right now are writers who are aware of their own strengths and limitations and who are willing to test the assumed limitations of the Western story form. It is refreshing to find a thoughtful writer of the Western story whose efforts grace both the popular and University press bookshelves. In an interview Mr. Estleman did several years ago for his publisher, Doubleday, he said, “The Western is a uniquely American form of literature. I find it artistically rewarding to work in this field.” We ought to be glad he sees things that way. MICHAEL T. MARSDEN Bowling Green State University Of America East & West: Selections from the Writings of Paul Horgan. By Paul Horgan. (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1984. 393 pages, $25.50.) Few writers associated with the regionalism of the West have the stature of Paul Horgan. He is, in addition to being one of the West’s best novelists, also one of the region’s best historians, biographers, and short story writers. What Of America East & West demonstrates most obviously, however, is that Horgan is truly a transcontinental, an “American” author of East and West. Reviews 395 Judged by some to be more an indoor type than outdoor—i.e., more paleface than redskin in Philip Rahv’s modeling—Horgan actually encom­ passes civility and wildness, drawing rooms and nature in his writings; he fabri­ cates his plots and develops his themes out of the whole complex set of tensions associated with East/West. The selections in this volume include his sublime accounting of centuries of historical process in Great River; his account of Emersonian causality and the effects of great men through portraitures of Lincoln, Josiah Gregg, Archbishop Lamy, and Horgan’s friend and ideal “maker,” Stravinsky. Also included are such masterpieces of short fiction as “The Peach Stone,” a cogent dramatization of love and death in the West yet to be surpassed; and portions of his novels from the earliest New Mexico narratives, No Quarter Given and Far from Cibola, to his East/West triptych and tour de force, the “Richard” novels (soon to appear together and complete in reissue). Of America East & West is a fine compendium of selections by a writer’s writer and American “regionalist” whose artistry and eye, whose soul and heart enrich us as Americans and reaffirm our human kinship and our history. Any one selection is bound to take the reader back to the complete work with deep appreciation for his legacy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 394-395
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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