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The Berrybender Narratives

The Berrybender Narratives

A sweeping four-part epic of the American West that could only come from the boundless skill and imagination of Pulitzer Prize– winning author Larry McMurtry.

Over a career that spans fifty years, Larry McMurtry has been celebrated as “one of America’s great storytellers” (The Wall Street Journal) and a writer who “stands among our best not only because of his uncanny ability to compress a cogent narrative arc but also because his eye for the moving detail is infallible” (Los Angeles Times). In The Berrybender Narratives, now published in a single volume for the first time, the author of Lonesome Dove delivers the unforgettable story of an idiosyncratic pioneer family and a truly unique view of the American West, reminding us again that his writing “has the power to clutch the heart and also to exhilarate” (The New Yorker).

In 1830, the Berrybender family—British, aristocratic, and fiercely out of place—abandons their home in England to embark on a journey through the American West just as the frontier is beginning to open up. Accompanied by a large and varied collection of retainers, Lord and Lady Berrybender intend to travel up the Missouri and settle in Texas, hoping to broaden the perspectives of their children, including Tasmin, a young woman of grit, beauty, and cunning. But when Tasmin’s fast-developing relationship with Jim Snow, a frontiersman and ferocious Indian fighter, begins to dictate the family’s course, they move further into the expansive and hostile wilderness and into the path of Indians, pioneers, mountain men, and explorers. As Lord Berrybender’s health falters, and the rest of the family goes to pieces around him, Tasmin finds herself taking command of their collective fate and is finally forced to decide where her future lies.

Full of real and fascinating characters, famous shoot-outs, adventure, humor, love, and loss, The Berrybender Narratives is an epic of the American West during its period of transformation, a landscape that nobody understands better than Larry McMurtry.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 928 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451647723 | 
  • November 2011
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Read an Excerpt

Contents

Characters

1 A Fish, at Dusk

2 A Block of Offspring

3 A Doe’s Liver, Quickly Eaten

4 The Swamp of the Swans

5 Rain Spittings and a Slap

6 The River Sticks

7 A Bad Hand in a Crowd

8 Three Wild Chieftains

9 Red Nations in Turmoil

10 The Captain Heaves a Sigh

11 A Squab and a Squash

12 Twenty-two Pigeons Raining Down

13 Call of the Tundra Swans

14 End of a Heavy Eater

15 The Only French

16 A Funeral in the Morning

17 Frailties of Artists

18 The Lost Stroke

19 The Maid... see more

Articles About This Book

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Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Off the Shelf Staff

From Lonesome Dove to Terms of Endearment this prolific and Pulitzer-Prize winning authorhas an oeuvre as great in scope, character and story ashis beloved Texas. These are a few of his best.

About the Author

Larry McMurtry
Photo Credit: Diana Lynn Ossana

Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

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