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The Essentials of Western/Frontier Fiction

EssentialsWesterns

The following is a short list, featuring twenty-one authors of traditional Western fiction, whom you would commonly find on any list of Western “classics” or “essentials.” A list of the “best” authors in any category has to be considered subjective under the best of circumstances. However, based on the criteria of which authors’ works have continued to stand the “test of time,” and whose works have remained relevant to contemporary readers, the twenty authors listed here are a good place to start, either for significant individual contributions or for their entire bodies of work.In addition to twenty-one prolific and iconic authors, we also list Owen Wister, whose 1902 novel, The Virginian, is considered by many to have been the first serious Western novel, which lifted the genre out of the serialized “penny dreadfuls” and “dime novels” of the latter half othe 1800s. Fans and/or students of English Literature are also encouraged to check in with any of our librarians for additional recommendations!

classic. Among the best of a class, of the highest quality in a group…a work that endures.Harper Handbook to Literature

The author links in this booklist are to the complete listings of all materials in the Lincoln City Libraries’ collections by these authors. The links connect directly to our library catalog, so that you may check on the current availability of titles. Covers shown below are relative samples of some of these authors’ best-known works. Links are also included to the Wikipedia entries for authors (where possible) for biographical background, and to authors’ official web sites for those authors still writing.

Max Brand

[1892-1944] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

MaxBrand

Matt Braun

[1932- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

MattBraun

Don Coldsmith

[1926-2009] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

DonColdsmith

Ralph Compton

[1934-1998] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

RalphCompton

Ralph Cotton

[ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

RalphCotton

Loren D. Estleman

[1952- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

LorenEstleman

Zane Grey

[1872-1939] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

ZaneGrey

A.B. Guthrie Jr.

[1901-1991] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

ABGuthrie

Ernest Haycox

[1899-1950] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

ErnestHaycox

Will Henry

[1912-1991] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

WillHenry

Ray Hogan

[1908-????]

RayHogan

William W. Johnstone

[1938-2004] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

WilliamJohnstone

Cameron Judd

[ Official web site for this author ]

CameronJudd

Elmer Kelton

[1926-2009] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

ElmerKelton

Louis L’Amour

[1908-1988] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

LouisLamour

Elmore Leonard

[1925-2013] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ] [ Remembering…Elmore Leonard – special tribute page on BookGuide ]

ElmoreLeonard

Wayne D. Overholser

[1906-1996] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

WayneOverholser

Luke Short

[1908-1975] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

LukeShort

Cotton Smith

[ Official web site for this author ]

CottonSmith

Charles G. West

[ Official web site for this author ]

CharlesGWest

Richard S. Wheeler

[1935- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Official web site for this author ]

RichardWheeler

Owen Wister

[1860-1938] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

OwenWister

Compiled and Adapted for the Web February 2012 sdc | last updated August 2016 sdc