|Illustration by Mike Reddy. Used courtesy of University of Arkansas Press.|
If any of you, my occasional readers, love me at all, a copy of this better be under the tree for me at Christmas. Multiple copies will not be looked upon with disappointment.
Twenty years after the publication of Portis’ last novel, Butler Center Books, an imprint of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, is publishing Escape Velocity: A CharlesPortis Miscellany, edited humorist and journalist Jay Jennings, that collects Portis’ short fiction, travel and journalism (including his coverage of the Medgar Evers assassination and Elvis Presley’s funeral), a memoir, and previously unpublished comic three-act play, Delray’s New Moon.
Portis published five novels between 1966 and 1991. He won over fans and critics with his deadpan humor, attention to detail, and masterful dialogue. Two of his books, Norwood and True Grit, were adapted as films. True Grit was adapted twice, first in 1966 starring John Wayne, and again in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges. Wayne won his only Academy Award® for his portrayal of Portis’ iconic character Rooster Cogburn, and Bridges was nominated for his portrayal of the same character.
Portis’ third novel, Dog of the South, is reportedly being made into a feature film by director Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, Paul) and starring Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Men In Black 3, Paul). No production information or release date was available on IMDB.
Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany goes on sale October 1 at fine booksellers everywhere.