UMKC participates in The Big Read 2013, a community-wide celebration of Charles Portis's True Grit.
True Grit Book Discussion
Tuesday, September 24
Miller Nichols Library
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, organized locally by the Kansas City Public Library and hosted at UMKC by UMKC Libraries and UMKC Women's Center.
Visit the True Grit book display near the South entrance of Miller Nichols Library where you will find copies available to check out, NEA reading guides, and an audio CD interview with Charles Portis. The novel checks in at around 200 pages, and is a riveting and fast read.
For a complete list of True Gritrelated programing including book discussions, films, and exhibits, visit the KCPL's Big Read 2013 page.
More about Charles Portis' True Grit
Although only published in 1968, True Grit has become recognized as a masterwork of American storytelling, with appeal far beyond the Western genre.
Written in the form of a memoir, the novel’s main character, Mattie Ross, relates the story of her adventure as a plucky 14-year old girl from Yell County, Arkansas, who has headed to Fort Smith in order to settle the affairs of her father - and to bring his killer to justice. She hires an alcoholic US Marshal of merciless reputation named Rooster Cogburn to pursue the drifter Tom Chaney into Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Not trusting Cogburn to do the job without her, she insists on accompanying Cogburn and a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf, who is also in pursuit of Chaney for other reasons.
Author Portis’s writing in True Grit is notable for its careful respect for the dialects of time and place, and the characters are exceptional studies when seen through the eyes of the judgmental and religious Mattie. True Grit was made into two Oscar-winning movies, a John Wayne western in 1969, and the exceptional Coen brothers’ 2010 movie, with more faithful duplication of the language, characters, and story.