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Monday, December 11, 2023

'Embodying the human spirit'


“I strongly believe that literature can do something that nothing else can do, and that is embody the human spirit.”  Thomas McGuane


McGuane may be the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters who’s also a member of both the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame and the Flyfishing Hall of Fame – both subjects for his writing.  His work includes 10 novels, lots of short fiction, many screenplays, and three collections of essays devoted to his life in the outdoors.


Born in Michigan on this date in 1939, McGuane envisioned himself as a writer from a very young age, admiring what he perceived as the adventurous life of a writer as much as the prospect of writing.    He studied writing at Michigan State and Yale and had his first novel, The Sporting Club, published in 1969. 


McGuane said he never wanted to be a celebrity but always wanted to be a good writer. “I'm still trying to be a good writer. That's what gets me out of bed in the morning.”   His best-known works are the screenplay for the Jack Nicholson movie The Missouri Breaks and the novel 92 in the Shade, also made into a movie.


 “I like to write about the solitary things people do,” he said.  “Humans seem to function best when they're alone.”

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