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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Sandhills Boy

Sandhills Boy

The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer

Elmer Kelton

Forge Books


"One thing is certain," a reviewer in True West Magazine recently said, "as long as there are writers as skillful as Elmer Kelton, Western literature will never die."

Few would disagree with the assessment of the man whose peers voted the "Best Western writer of all time" and whose 50 novels form a testament and tribute to the American West.

But who is that Texas gentleman with the white Stetson and rimless eyeglasses whose friendly face appears on so many book jackets?

Sandhills Boy is Kelton's memoir, a funny and poignant story of "a freckle-faced country boy, green as a gourd, a sheep ready to be sheared," growing up in the wild, dry, sandhills of West Texas. The son of a working cowboy and ranch foreman, Elmer was expected to follow in father's footsteps but learned at an early age that he had no talents in the cowboy's trade. Buck Kelton called Elmer "Pop," said he was "slow as the seven-year itch," and reluctantly supported his son's decision to become a student at the University of Texas, and, eventually, a journalist and writer.

Kelton's life in ranch and oil patch Texas during the Great Depression is told with warm nostalgic humor animated with stories of the cowboys and their wives and kids who gave the time and place its special flavor. He writes with great feeling of his service in WW2 in France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, and the romantic circumstances in which his life changed in the village of Ebensee, Austria.

Chapter One

Often when I look in the mirror, the face I see is my cowboy father's, the same pinched blue eyes, the same mouth and chin, the same ruddy complexion. Our destinies set us on different pathways. He spent his life within...

Praise for Sandhills Boy

“Kelton, like fine wine, just keeps getting better and better.” —Tulsa World

“...Elmer Kelton, a wily old cloudburst, imbues his Westerns with ancient myths and modern motifs that transcend cowboys and cattle trails.” —Dallas Morning News

Reviews from Goodreads

Elmer Kelton

Elmer Kelton of San Angelo, Texas, is a native Texan and author of fifty Western novels. He has won many awards for his work and has been recognized as the Greatest Western Writer of all time by the Western Writers of America, Inc. He is the author of Forge's Texas Rangers series.

image of Elmer Keltono
Jim Bean Professional Photography

Forge Books

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