The Portable Western Reader

Author Various
Introduction by William Kittredge
Commentaries by William Kittredge
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Paperback
$24.00 US
5.06"W x 7.74"H x 1.42"D  
On sale Jul 01, 1997 | 624 Pages | 978-0-14-023026-0
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
The American West is as varied in its inhabitants as in its landforms. Yet what has come to stand for "Western" writing is the myth of the wagon train and the lone gunman. In the Portable Wester Reader, William Kittredge has assembled stories, poems, essays, and excerpts that transcend the Western myth and explore the vast range of Western experience. With selections from more than seventy authors, and an introduction and headnotes by William Kittredge. The Portable Western Reader redefines the Western literary landscape.
ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various
Acknowledgments
Introduction: "West of Your Town: Another Country" by William Kittredge
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part One: Ancient Stories
Introduction
Washington Matthews, "House Made of the Dawn" (Navajo night chant)
A. L. Kroeber, "The Woman and the Horse," from Gros Ventre Myths and Tales
Catharine McClellan, "The Girl Who Married the Bear"
Jarold Ramsey, "Coyote and Eagle Go to the Land of the Dead"
C. C. Uhlenbeck, "How the Ancient Peigans Lived" (Blackfeet tale)
James Welch, from Fools Crow
James Mooney, from The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890
Linda Hogan, from Mean Spirit
John Graves, "The Last Running"
Louise Erdrich, "Fleur"
Joy Harjo, "Deer Dancer"
Part Two: Transcending the Western
Introduction
Walt Whitman, "Song of the Redwood-Tree" from Leaves of Grass
e. e. cummings, "Buffalo Bill's"
D. H. Lawrence, from "Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales," in Studies in Classic American Literature
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, from the Journals
A. B. Guthrie Jr., from The Big Sky
Teddy Blue Abbott, from We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher
O. E. Rolvaag, from Giants in the Earth
Elinore Rupert Stewart, from Letters of a Woman Homesteader
Wallace Stegner, "Carrion Spring," from Wolf Willow
Mari Sandoz, from Old Jules
Dorothy M. Johnson, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Jack London, "A Raid on the Oyster Pirates"
JOhn Steinbeck, "The Squatters' Camps," from The Harvest Gypsies
Robinson Jeffers, "Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind"
Ernest Hemingway, "The Clark's Fork Valley, Wyoming"
Theodore Roethke, "All Morning"
"The Far Field"
Norman Maclean, from A River Runs Through It
Wright Morris, from Ceremony in Lone Tree
John Haines, "If the Owl Calls Again," from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer
from "Three Days," in The Stars, the Snow, the Fire
Ivan Doig, from This House of Sky
Larry McMurtry, "Take My Saddle from the Wall: A Valediction"
Mary Clearman Brew, from All But the Waltz
Part Three: Our Own Stories
Introduction
W. H. Auden, "The West from the Air," from The Dyer's Hand
Galway Kinnell, "The Bear"
William Stafford, "Traveling Through the Dark"
"Help from History"
"Paso por Aqui"
"Late, Passing Prairie Farm"
David Wagoner, "A Guide to Dungeness Spit"
Ken Kesey, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Thomas McGrath, "Legends, Heroes, Myth-Figures and Other American Liars"
"The Pleasures of the Great Salt Lake"
"Longing"
Keith Wilson, "The Poem Politic 10: A Note for Future Historians"
Edward Abbey, from Desert Solitaire
Gary Snyder, "Above Pate Valley"
"Painting the North San Juan School"
"Getting in the Wood"
"Dillingham, Alaska, the Willow Tree Bar"
Richard Hugo, "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg"
"The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field"
"Silver Star"
"Driving Montana"
"Fort Benton"
"Duwamish"
"Salt Water Story"
Philip Levine, "Sierra Kid"
"Soloing"
Richard Shelton, "The Hole"
"The Stones"
Maxine Hong Kingston, "American Father," from China Men
Raymond Carver, "My Father's Life"
Richard Ford, "Communist"
David Quammen, "Orphan Calves," from "Walking Out"
Thomas McGuane, "The Heart of the Game"
Rick Demarinis, "Paraiso: An Elegy"
Greg Pape, "Some Names"
"Blessing at the Citadel"
Tess Gallagher, "Cougar Meat"
"The Borrowed Ones"
Part Four: Brilliant Possibilities
Introduction
Czeslaw Milosz, "To Robinson Jeffers"
N. Scott Momaday, from The Names: A Memoir
Robert Hass, "On the Coast near Sausalito"
"On Squaw Peak"
Gretel Ehrlich, "On Water," from The Solace of Open Spaces
Leslie Marmon Silko, "Storyteller"
Marilynne Robinson, from Housekeeping
David Long, "Lightning"
Pattiann Rogers, "A Passing"
"Why Lost Divinity Remains Lost"
Garrett Hongo, "Yellow Light"
"What For"
Robert Wrigley, "Ravens at Deer Creek"
"Majestic"
Alberto Rios, "The Secret Lion," from The Iguana Killer
Jimmy Santiago Baca, from "Martin," in Martin and Meditations on the South Valley #Section V#
Ray Gonzalez, "Snakeskin (A Dream)"
"Talk with the Priest"
James Galvin, "Water Table"
"Coming into His Shop from a Bright Afternoon," from The Meadow
Terry Tempest Williams, "The Clan of One-Breasted Women," from Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
Richard K. Nelson, "The Gifts of Deer," from The Island Within
Adrian C. Louis, "In the Ghetto on the Prairie There Is Unrequited Love"
"Sometimes a Warrior Comes Tired"
"America Loomed Before Us"
Sherman Alexie, "The Business of Fancydancing"
"My Heroes Have Never Been Cowboys"
Barry Lopez, "The Passing Wisdom of Birds"
Allen Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California"

About

The American West is as varied in its inhabitants as in its landforms. Yet what has come to stand for "Western" writing is the myth of the wagon train and the lone gunman. In the Portable Wester Reader, William Kittredge has assembled stories, poems, essays, and excerpts that transcend the Western myth and explore the vast range of Western experience. With selections from more than seventy authors, and an introduction and headnotes by William Kittredge. The Portable Western Reader redefines the Western literary landscape.

Author

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: "West of Your Town: Another Country" by William Kittredge
Suggestions for Further Reading
Part One: Ancient Stories
Introduction
Washington Matthews, "House Made of the Dawn" (Navajo night chant)
A. L. Kroeber, "The Woman and the Horse," from Gros Ventre Myths and Tales
Catharine McClellan, "The Girl Who Married the Bear"
Jarold Ramsey, "Coyote and Eagle Go to the Land of the Dead"
C. C. Uhlenbeck, "How the Ancient Peigans Lived" (Blackfeet tale)
James Welch, from Fools Crow
James Mooney, from The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890
Linda Hogan, from Mean Spirit
John Graves, "The Last Running"
Louise Erdrich, "Fleur"
Joy Harjo, "Deer Dancer"
Part Two: Transcending the Western
Introduction
Walt Whitman, "Song of the Redwood-Tree" from Leaves of Grass
e. e. cummings, "Buffalo Bill's"
D. H. Lawrence, from "Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales," in Studies in Classic American Literature
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, from the Journals
A. B. Guthrie Jr., from The Big Sky
Teddy Blue Abbott, from We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher
O. E. Rolvaag, from Giants in the Earth
Elinore Rupert Stewart, from Letters of a Woman Homesteader
Wallace Stegner, "Carrion Spring," from Wolf Willow
Mari Sandoz, from Old Jules
Dorothy M. Johnson, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Jack London, "A Raid on the Oyster Pirates"
JOhn Steinbeck, "The Squatters' Camps," from The Harvest Gypsies
Robinson Jeffers, "Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind"
Ernest Hemingway, "The Clark's Fork Valley, Wyoming"
Theodore Roethke, "All Morning"
"The Far Field"
Norman Maclean, from A River Runs Through It
Wright Morris, from Ceremony in Lone Tree
John Haines, "If the Owl Calls Again," from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer
from "Three Days," in The Stars, the Snow, the Fire
Ivan Doig, from This House of Sky
Larry McMurtry, "Take My Saddle from the Wall: A Valediction"
Mary Clearman Brew, from All But the Waltz
Part Three: Our Own Stories
Introduction
W. H. Auden, "The West from the Air," from The Dyer's Hand
Galway Kinnell, "The Bear"
William Stafford, "Traveling Through the Dark"
"Help from History"
"Paso por Aqui"
"Late, Passing Prairie Farm"
David Wagoner, "A Guide to Dungeness Spit"
Ken Kesey, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Thomas McGrath, "Legends, Heroes, Myth-Figures and Other American Liars"
"The Pleasures of the Great Salt Lake"
"Longing"
Keith Wilson, "The Poem Politic 10: A Note for Future Historians"
Edward Abbey, from Desert Solitaire
Gary Snyder, "Above Pate Valley"
"Painting the North San Juan School"
"Getting in the Wood"
"Dillingham, Alaska, the Willow Tree Bar"
Richard Hugo, "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg"
"The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field"
"Silver Star"
"Driving Montana"
"Fort Benton"
"Duwamish"
"Salt Water Story"
Philip Levine, "Sierra Kid"
"Soloing"
Richard Shelton, "The Hole"
"The Stones"
Maxine Hong Kingston, "American Father," from China Men
Raymond Carver, "My Father's Life"
Richard Ford, "Communist"
David Quammen, "Orphan Calves," from "Walking Out"
Thomas McGuane, "The Heart of the Game"
Rick Demarinis, "Paraiso: An Elegy"
Greg Pape, "Some Names"
"Blessing at the Citadel"
Tess Gallagher, "Cougar Meat"
"The Borrowed Ones"
Part Four: Brilliant Possibilities
Introduction
Czeslaw Milosz, "To Robinson Jeffers"
N. Scott Momaday, from The Names: A Memoir
Robert Hass, "On the Coast near Sausalito"
"On Squaw Peak"
Gretel Ehrlich, "On Water," from The Solace of Open Spaces
Leslie Marmon Silko, "Storyteller"
Marilynne Robinson, from Housekeeping
David Long, "Lightning"
Pattiann Rogers, "A Passing"
"Why Lost Divinity Remains Lost"
Garrett Hongo, "Yellow Light"
"What For"
Robert Wrigley, "Ravens at Deer Creek"
"Majestic"
Alberto Rios, "The Secret Lion," from The Iguana Killer
Jimmy Santiago Baca, from "Martin," in Martin and Meditations on the South Valley #Section V#
Ray Gonzalez, "Snakeskin (A Dream)"
"Talk with the Priest"
James Galvin, "Water Table"
"Coming into His Shop from a Bright Afternoon," from The Meadow
Terry Tempest Williams, "The Clan of One-Breasted Women," from Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
Richard K. Nelson, "The Gifts of Deer," from The Island Within
Adrian C. Louis, "In the Ghetto on the Prairie There Is Unrequited Love"
"Sometimes a Warrior Comes Tired"
"America Loomed Before Us"
Sherman Alexie, "The Business of Fancydancing"
"My Heroes Have Never Been Cowboys"
Barry Lopez, "The Passing Wisdom of Birds"
Allen Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California"

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