Westerns

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Article in Category:Adult Fiction category.


Traditional Westerns

Traditionally, Westerns are marked by their strong sense of place in their depictions of the American West (think cattle ranches, frontier towns), and focus on justice, grit, independence, pride, redemption, and strength. Readers might be attracted to historical detail in addition to descriptions of the landscape. Older traditional Westerns are light on graphic sex and violence and qualify as gentle reads, and - especially those from the heyday of the genre in the mid-twentieth century - sometimes succumb to outdated gender and racial stereotyping.


20th Century Authors of Traditional Westerns

21st Century Authors of Traditional Westerns

Literary Westerns

More modern literary westerns go beyond shoot-‘em-ups and cattle drives to introduce nuance to the traditional tropes, while maintaining the core focus on defining morality, a strong sense of place, and rugged characters. They can also demonstrate the frontier mindset as it survives - or attempts to - in modern times. These Westerns may contain more graphic violence or sexual scenes than older traditional titles. (The Library might shelve/classify some of these in the Fiction section rather than with the Westerns.)

 *Blood Meridian (1985) by Cormac McCarthy
 
 *All the Pretty Horses (1992)- first book in The Border  Trilogy
 *Lonesome Dove (1985) by Larry McMurtry

Westerns by non-Western Writers

Modern Fiction about Real People

    *The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (1983)
    *Desperadoes (1979)-tells the story of Emmett Dalton & the Dalton Gang

Western Mystery Authors

Western Romance Authors

The Weird West

Westerns that include supernatural, horror, or science fiction elements.



Related Nonfiction




Movies & TV - Traditional and Modern

  • 3:10 to Yuma
  • There Will be Blood

See also

True Grit Big Read list by JMRL

Rural Noir (Adults), another list by JMRL which investigates questions of justice and independence, frequently revenge-driven, has strong characters, set in a distinctive American landscape

The Spur Awards, awarded by Western Writers of America

Western Heritage Awards, awarded by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Willa Awards, for “women’s stories set in the West”

Peacemaker Awards