It’s always big news — especially in these parts — when Texas icon Larry McMurtry publishes a new novel. After all, it’s been six years since When the Light Goes (a sequel to Duane’s Depressed) was released. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the beloved Lonesome Dove returns to fiction (after 2012’s Custer) with his latest ode to the Old West.
The Last Kind Words Saloon follows the friendship between American West heroes and legends Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, from their days in Long Grass, Texas, to Denver and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to Mobetie, Texas (the town with one tree), to Tombstone, Ariz., and the climax at the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Well-rounded secondary characters — strong men and equally strong women — populate the 224-page novel, including Wyatt’s wife, Jessie, who owns The Last Kind Words Saloon, Charlie Goodnight from Comanche Moon, Nellie Courtright from Telegraph Days and other real-life historical figures of the day.
McMurtry and longtime collaborator Diana Ossana (they co-wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Brokeback Mountain) will be featured in an Arts & Letters Live! event at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Theater. It will be moderated by Texas Monthly executive editor Skip Hollandsworth. All auditorium tickets are sold out, but a live simulcast of the event will be available in the adjacent C3 Theater and the DMA Cafe, which will serve a Texas-themed menu and Texas beer and wine. Go to DMA.org/all for more information. There won’t be a book signing, though.
— Celeste Williams