A Directory of Western Authors

 

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"If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi, it's a western, a different category. There's no sense to it." 

--Louis L'Amour

To download free e-texts of classic western novels and journals belonging to the public domain, check out the following sources: 

Thalasson

Memoware

Authorama

Project_Gutenburg

Mountain Men Journals

Classic Reader

Questia


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We Love Westerns!

A great many readers love westerns.  People all around the world like to read books that help them identify with the Indian fighters on the frontier, the homesteader on his farm, the cowboy, or the gunslinger in the Old West. 

We offer a listing of western authors of novels set in the American West. Included are books about American history, the Old West, and the western frontier, as well as contemporary western fiction novels.  We list print books and those in digitized form. Here you will find links to the best of western literature, including stories about cowboys, rodeo stars, ranchers, and horsemen. Authors of classics from Altsheler to Zane Grey are listed.

In this directory, we use a broad definition of "western," including contemporary stories, historical fiction and even early American literature -- as long as it has the flavor of the West. Any books about the west qualify an author to be listed in this directory of writers.


Zane Grey -- On Writing

            "In this materialistic age, this hard, practical, swift, greedy age of realism, it seems there is no place for writers of romance, no place for romance itself. For many years all the events leading up to the great war were realistic, and the war itself was horribly realistic, and the aftermath is likewise. Romance is only another name for idealism; and I contend that life without ideals is not worth living. Never in the history of the world were ideals needed so terribly as now. Walter Scott wrote romance; so did Victor Hugo; and likewise Kipling, Hawthorne, Stevenson. It was Stevenson, particularly, who wielded a bludgeon against the realists. People live for the dream in their hearts. And I have yet to know anyone who has not some secret dream, some hope, however dim, some storied wall to look at in the dusk, some painted window leading to the soul. How strange indeed to find that the realists have ideals and dreams! To read them one would think their lives held nothing significant. But they love, they hope, they dream, they sacrifice, they struggle on with that dream in their hearts just the same as others. We all are dreamers, if not in the heavy-lidded wasting of time, then in the meaning of life that makes us work on.
      "It was Wordsworth who wrote, "The world is too much with us"; and if I could give the secret of my ambition as a novelist in a few words it would be contained in that quotation. My inspiration to write has always come from nature. Character and action are subordinated to setting. In all that I have done I have tried to make people see how the world is too much with them. Getting and spending they lay waste their powers, with never a breath of the free and wonderful life of the open!"

Zane Grey, from the Foreword of the book, 
"To The Last Man."


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