A great writer died this weekend and you probably heard nothing about it. Maybe because he wasn't Louis L'Amour, but the Western Writers of America voted him Best Western Author of All Time. Still, not one word on the news, not an obituary alert from CNN (yes, I get obituary alerts, so sue me).
Four of his books won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. The aforementioned Western Writers of America awarded him their Spur Award 7 times. Four of his books won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 1987 he received the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award for “continuing excellence in Texas letters” from the Texas Institute of Letters. Yes, he was born in Texas and lived here his entire life, and yet not one local news channel commented on his death.
You probably never even knew that one of his books "The Good Old Boys" was made into a TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones.
His name? Elmer Kelton. While there are more Louis L'Amour books in our store than any other western writer, it's Kelton's books that are rare - when they come in, they go out quickly. He is in high demand.
“His contribution to literature in this state cannot be underestimated,” Judy Alter, former director of the TCU Press, said. “Elmer didn’t write the traditional western; he wrote history."
Kelton had 62 fiction and non-fiction books to his credit.
Four of his books won the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
The German Association for the Study of the Western, based in Muenster, Germany, made him an honorary member. The association presents the Elmer Kelton Award for Literary Merit every year.
He earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a true Texan, and except for the years he spent overseas in WWII, his whole life was spent here.
Yes, a great writer died last weekend ....