True Grit: Young Readers Edition (Paperback)
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The Young Readers Edition of Charles Portis’s #1 New York Times bestseller, with over two million copies in print, comes complete with the full text of the classic novel, an afterword by Leonard S. Marcus, and a readers guide with discussion questions.
True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just 14 when the coward Tom Chaney shoots down her father in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash. Determined to avenge the killing, Mattie enlists the help of Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available US Marshal, and pursues the killer into Indian Territory.
As Mattie outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten types in her path, her vitality and resourcefulness amuse, impress, and touch the reader. What happens to Mattie, to the gang of outlaws unfortunate enough to tangle with her, to Rooster and the swaggering Texas Ranger LeBoeuf rings with the dramatic rightness of legend.
An instant bestseller and critical success upon its first publication and the basis for two highly praised, award-winning films, True Grit is an American classic through and through.
“Quite simply, an American masterpiece.” —Boston Globe
True Grit is a selection of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Library.
About the Author
Charles Portis (1933–2020) lived most of his life in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He was a graduate of the University of Arkansas, which in 2018 awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters. 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 is the author of four other novels, also available from the Overlook Press: Norwood, The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, and Gringos. A selection of his writing has been collected in Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany.
“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