On Our Shelves Now
Charles Portis’s true American classic novel and #1 New York Times bestseller, “an epic and a legend” (The Washington Post)
Charles Portis has long been acclaimed as one of America’s most enduring and incomparable literary voices, and his novels have left an indelible mark on the American canon. True Grit, his most famous novel, was first published in 1968, and has garnered critical acclaim as well as enthusiastic praise from countless passionate fans for more than fifty years. It was the basis for two award-winning films, including the wildly praised remake by the Coen brothers, selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for the Big Read Library, and was a #1 New York Times bestseller.
True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen when the coward Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 cash. Filled with an unwavering urge to avenge her father’s blood, Mattie finds and, after some tenacious finagling, enlists one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, as her partner in pursuit, and they head off into Indian Territory after the killer.
True Grit is essential reading, an undeniable American classic as eccentric, cool, funny, and unflinching as Mattie Ross herself. This edition includes an afterword by bestselling author Donna Tartt and a reading group guide.
About the Author
Charles Portis (b. December 28, 1933, d. February 17, 2020) lived in Arkansas, where he was born and educated. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was the London bureau chief of the New York Herald-Tribune, and was a writer for The New Yorker. He was the author of five novels: Norwood, The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, True Grit, and Gringos.
“How to describe the indescribable? Probably the best description I can give of True Grit is that I’ve never given it to any reader — male or female, of any age or sensibility — who didn’t enjoy it.”
— Donna Tartt
“Skillfully constructed, a comic tour de force.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Quite simply, an American masterpiece.”
— Boston Globe
“Rollicking . . . a beaut narrated in the unforgettable voice of Mattie Ross . . . Portis has crazy-cool literary swagger.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Charles Portis is an original, indescribable sui generis talent . . . Rereading Portis is one of the great pure pleasures—both visceral and cerebral—available in modern American literature.”
— Ron Rosenbaum
“It’s possible that True Grit is the genuine article—a book so strong that it reads as myth."
— Ed Park
“Charles Portis’s True Grit is a masterpiece.”
— Anthony Bourdain
“The dialogue in True Grit is exquisite.”
— David Mamet
“I’ve always thought Charles Portis had a wonderful talent—original, quirky, exciting.”
— Larry McMurtry
“An epic and a legend.”
— Washington Post
“Charles Portis’s True Grit captures the naive elegance of the American Voice.”
— Jonathan Lethem