This week the sad news reached us that great American author and screenwriter Larry McMurtry has died, aged 84. McMurtry was thought to many to be one of the greatest American authors of all time, and the Lonesome Dove author was not only a successful author but also an Oscar winning screenwriter, namely for the adapted screenplay he co-wrote for Brokeback Mountain.
Born in 1936, Larry McMurtry studied writing fiction during the 1960-61 academic year and during his career won many awards for his various writings including the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Lonesome Dove, something the author reflected on in Literary Life: A Second Memoir. His contribution to American literature was formally acknowledged when he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2015.
Reowned for his unromantic depictions of the America West in novels like Horseman, Pass By (which became the Paul Newman film Hud), and eventually more than 30 novels over 50 years, McMurtry also owned a number of celebrated used book stores and was a much loved and respected figure in American literature.
In his personal life, McMurtry married Jo Scott, an English professor who has authored five books, the couple have one son together but then divorced. In the 1990s McMurtry suffered a serious depression after heart surgery, during this period he wrote the novel Streets of Laredo. In 2011 McMurtry married Norma Faye Kesey, the widow of Ken Kesey. Norma was widowed for a second time on 25th March, 2021 when Larry McMurtry died, aged 84.