In a Narrow Grave
Essays on Texas
First published in 1968, In a Narrow Grave is the classic statement of what it means to come from Texas. In these essays, McMurtry opens a window into the past and present of America's largest state. In his own words:
"Before I was out of high school, I realized I was witnessing the dying of a way of life -- the rural, pastoral way of life. In the Southwest the best energies were no longer to be found on the homeplace, or in the small towns; the cities required these energies and the cities bought them...."
"I recognized, too, that the no-longer-open but still spacious range on which my ranching family had made its livelihood...would not produce a livelihood for me or for my siblings and their kind....The myth of the cowboy grew purer every year because there were so few actual cowboys left to contradict it...."
"I had actually been living in cities for fourteen years when I pulled together these essays; intellectually I had been a city boy, but imaginatively, I was still trudging up the dusty path that led out of the country...."