Men of the Open Range

Men of the Open Range, Charles Marrion Russell, 1923
Men of the Open Range, Charles Marrion Russell, 1923

I have cowboys on my mind. In school we are slowly reading Holling C. Hollings’ Tree in the Trail. I really love reading Jed and Buck’s parts out loud. And last night I finished a novel by Leif Enger called So Brave, Young and Handsome. My husband was happy to see I was reading a book about himself. Enger’s book takes place at the end of the Wild West, and it is not your typical Western although there are plenty of action scenes, man hunts, and natural disasters. The protagonist of the story is something of an anti-cowboy being dragged into the life of a cowboy. Anyway, there is a writer in the book, an artist, a Pinkerton, a boy named Hood, another boy named Redstart, a female named Blue who shows up in dreams riding a horse, a boat-building desperado, and a female sharp shooter who looks like a man. It’s quite the cast. To make it even better, the author is the twin brother of a former Creative Writing professor of mine. His name is Lin. He wore an old jean jacket to class all the time.

Best be gittin’ along now. Enjoy the cowboy art. Russell has a whole slew of Wild West paintings, if you’re interested.


4 thoughts on “Men of the Open Range”

    1. Zane Grey is mentioned in Enger’s book. It’s back at the library now, so I can’t quote directly, but it’s something like… “Zane Grey has another book out. But then again, when doesn’t he have another book out?” It’s kind of nice to find an author you like who shoots out a couple books a year, but if you’re jealous of that author… then it might not be so nice:)

  1. I am impressed that Enger’s brother was one of your professors. U of W? Leif Enger is probably my favorite contemporary author. I love his thoughtful writing style. My favorite of his was Peace Like a River. I didn’t realize he was a twin.

    1. Both Engers are from Minnesota. Lin teaches (or taught) at MSU Moorhead. I haven’t kept in touch with the Creative Writing program. Living in Moorhead for a year and a half was my only time away from this part of Wisconsin. Lin was a teacher I respected a lot, I think because he was also thoughtful. And humble. He openly respected other writers, including his brother. I agree that Leif is a great writer.

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