The Corner

Elmer Kelton, R.I.P.

The writer of westerns died about a week ago. I’m not familiar with his work, but a couple of readers mentioned him in answer to my literary bleg on Friday:

As I’m sure you know, Elmer Kelton just died.  His novel, “The Time it Never Rained” is certainly a great novel of conservative ideas.  Rugged self-reliance in West Texas, suspicion and resistance of government programs…

And:

Saw your Literary Bleg on The Corner… How about “The Time it Never Rained” by Elmer Kelton? During the horrible Texas drought of the 1950s, a rancher, Charlie Flagg, refuses the help of federal aid programs, despite intense peer pressure to accept them. Most of his fellow ranchers do accept the federal aid, to their eventual regret. Written in 1973, it really captures a time and place rarely spotlighted, and carries a real ground-level conservative message.

As for the bleg: Lots of good suggestions. Keep them coming!

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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