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Charles Portis: 1933-2020

February 18, 2020

See for yourself why Portis has a cult following and why he will be missed.  

Thank you, Wells Tower, for recommending Gringos in GQ back in 2011The hilariously convoluted plot is completely beside the point—the main attraction is Portis's Southern deadpan writing style. I like this summary of his work from the New York Times:

Mr. Portis evokes an eccentric, absurd world with a completely straight face. As a result, there are not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments or explosive set pieces here. Instead of shooting off fireworks the books shimmer with a continuous comic glow.

In addition to several other novels (including, of course, True Grit), he also has a book of shorter pieces called Escape Velocity, which includes a great essay about Nashville:

If you like absurdist humor, you will love Charles Portis.
beth winter


Beth works in the Collection Development department.  She loves short stories, memoirs, documentary films, and cookbooks.  Her favorite things about working at the library are knowing in advance about all the new releases and the easy access to her library holds.