True Grit

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Article in Adult Fiction and Big Read categories.

Printable versions of this booklist are available as .pdf's here.


About the Author

Works by Charles Portis


Short pieces:

Guns for Hire and Hardscrabble Heroes: Adventures & Untamed Characters

  • The Thicket, by Joe Lansdale
  • The Big Sky, by A. B. Guthrie
  • When the Legends Die, by Hal Borland
  • Far Bright Star, by Robert Olmstead
  • Shavetail, by Thomas Cobb
  • The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy, start with All The Pretty Horses
  • The Son, by Philipp Meyer
  • Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger
  • Desperadoes, by Ron Hansen

Home on the Range: Tales from the Frontier

  • Roughing It, by Mark Twain
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather
  • Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
  • A Sudden Country, by Karen Fisher
  • Butcher's Crossing, by John Williams

Classic and Not-so-Classic Westerns

  • The Virginian, by Owen Wister
  • Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey
  • The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour
  • The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt
  • Spoon, Robert Greer
  • Buffalo Girls, by Larry McMurtry
  • Deadwood, by Pete Dexter

Lawmen & White Hats: Featuring Texas Rangers and US Marshals

  • Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, and its prequels Comanche Moon and Dead Man's Walk
  • Raylan, by Elmore Leonard
  • Elmer Kelton's Texas Rangers series - start with The Buckskin Line
  • Jon Land's Caitlin Strong series - start with Strong Enough to Die

Revenge & Justice

Tenacious Heroines

  • Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell
  • Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward
  • Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
  • Bohemian Girl, by Terese Svoboda
  • The Passage, by Justin Cronin
  • In Calamity's Wake, by Natalee Caple
  • Missy, by Chris Hannan


  • Rooster: the Life and Times of the real Rooster Cogburn, the Man who Inspired True Grit, by Brett Cogburn
  • 1870s
  • Arkansas

DVDs to Watch

  • True Grit (John Wayne)
  • True Grit (Coen Brothers)
  • Rooster Cogburn
  • Django Unchained
  • Justified

Books for Youth?

Case of the Deadly Desperadoes

External Links

Others? Doc, by Mary Doria Russell Cottonwood, by Scott Phillips Literary Westerns on goodreads: Contemporary Westerns on goodreads: Best Westerns on goodreads: