RIP Larry McMurtry, the American West’s Prolific NovelistEven if you haven’t read Larry McMurtry’s books, you know some of his stories. The author of the epic demystifier of the American cowboy, Lonesome Dove, McMurtry wrote dozens of books and films, winning an Oscar for the screenplay of Brokeback Mountain, based on Annie Proulx’s short story. McMurtry combined his own past growing up in a dusty cowboy town with Stegner’s clear-eyed realism about the West to demythologize it in his writing. It wasn’t all cowboys with gleaming six shooters and jangling studs; in fact, it wasn’t that at all. My first taste of McMurtry wasn’t Lonesome Dove, but All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers, a semi-autobiographical novel of self-discovery by a young bookish man consumed with loving the West, but also desperately wanting to leave it.