Charles Portis (1933–present) Charles Portis began his writing career in college, working for the University of Arkansas student newspaper as well as the Northwest Arkansas Times. After he graduated, Portis worked for various newspapers including two years at the Arkansas Gazette. During the Korean War, Portis served in the Marine Corps where he attained the rank of sergeant. He later moved to New York, working for the New York Herald-Tribune as London bureau chief until 1964, when he retired from journalism and moved back south to be a full-time novelist. Portis is the author of five novels, including the number one New York Times bestseller True Grit, as well as The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, Gringos, and Norwood. True Grit is the basis for two movies, the 1969 classic starring John Wayne and the 2010 version starring Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and written and directed by the Coen brothers.
True Grit is a National Endowment for the Arts 2013 Big Read Library Selection
The Big Read Library is a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) program designed to restore reading to the center of American culture, and provides competitive grants to support innovative reading programs in a very large number of selected communities. True Grit is one of only three books to be added to the Big Read Library since 2009. Visit www.neabigread.org for more information.
A message from Overlook Press publisher Peter Mayer on True Grit True Grit is a remarkable novel that tells the story of a teenager’s overpowering effort to avenge the murder of a father. It fits into the canon of books young readers take to, and take to their hearts. Set in a period of American history providing much food for thought and a real picture of America in these early days of the West when the law was much less well-established than it is now, an now widely considered a classic of American literature, True Grit takes its place alongside books like To Kill a Mockingbird and the novels of Mark Twain.
Critical Praise for Charles Portis
“Charles Portis is perhaps the most original, indescribable sui generis talent overlooked by literary culture in America.” – Esquire
“Charles Portis could be Cormac McCarthy if he wanted to, but he’d rather be funny.” – Roy Blount Jr.
“Charles Portis’s True Grit captures the naïve elegance of the American voice.” – Jonathan Lethem
“Dog of the South is Portis in his purest form and a favorite of his fans.” – The Oregonian
“Norwood began his cult—people began to see Charlie as this very special figure.” – Tom Wolfe