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.