Monday, August 24, 2009

Elmer Kelton, 1926-2009

Western novelist Elmer Kelton, a celebrated writer known for novels like The Time it Never Rained, The Day the Cowboys Quit, and The Good Old Boys - which became a Turner Network movie directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones - passed away Saturday. He was 83 years old.

The Texas A&M University Press Consortium mourns the loss of Kelton, who authored 62 fiction and nonfiction books - many which were reprinted by Texas Christian University Press.

"I doubt anyone will come along to fill Elmer's shoes. We'll not see the likes of him again," said Judy Alter, former director of TCU Press. "He knew the life he wrote about, Texas as it was and is, and he had a genuine Texas voice, including the wry, understated humor. But above and beyond his tremendous writing talent, he was a good friend to all who knew him - a man who defined the word gentleman, especially in the cowboy sense. He was never too busy, too rushed to talk to a friend, a fan, anyone who came by. He was truly a good and kind gentle soul. I have lost a friend - and so has Texas."

The Western Writers of America named Kelton the number-one Western writer of all time. This after they voted him seven Spur awards for best Western novel of the year and awarded him the career Saddleman Award. Kelton also garnered four Western Heritage Wrangler awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Click here to see a detailed list of all Kelton's works published by TAMU Press Consortium publishers. TCU Press also has a reprint of Kelton's The Far Country,due out next spring.