West of the Mississippi

Reviews of Western Literature

There has been a tendency here to radically distance one’s ideals from the external world to the point of innocence and naiveté. ... The habit of mind is not altogether limited to the West, but there is something about this region that seems to intensify the tendency to live in one world while dreaming or for expecting another. The West is characteristically a country of daydreams and fantasies, of visions and nostalgia, where people seem constantly to want to escape from the life they have made for themselves and to enter a life more satisfying to the imagination. [Donald Worster, "Summing Up: Grounds for Identity," 273, in William L. Lang, ed., Centennial West: Essays on the Northern Tier States (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 1991).]

Featured Book Reviews

Ana Castillo, The Guardians

"It was raining all night hard and heavy, making the land shiver -- all the bare ocotillo and all the prickly pear."

Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book

"Maybe it comes from living in San Francisco, city of clammy humors and foghorns that warn and warn--omen, o-o-men, o dolorous omen, o dolors of omens--and not enough sun, but Whitman Ah Sing considered suicide every day."

Jon Hassler, Staggerford

"First hour, Miles yawned."

Book Review Archive

The Best Western: An Open Poll

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Western Writing and Reading Links

Roundup: Western Writers of America
Native American Authors Project
A Literary History of the American West [.pdf document]
West-Side Stories: Best Non-Fiction West of the Rockies


© JST, e-mail
Created 5 January 1997 / Updated 19 October 2007