The #1 New York Times bestselling classic frontier adventure novel, with over two million copies in print
True Grit tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory. First brought to the big screen in the classic 1969 western starring John Wayne and remade brilliantly in 2010 by the Coen brothers and starring Jeff Bridges, True Grit is eccentric, cool, straight, and unflinching, like Mattie herself. From a writer of true status, this is an American classic through and through.
This mass-market edition includes an afterword by bestselling author Donna Tartt.
About the Author
Charles Portis (1933–2020) lived most of his life in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He was a graduate of the University of Arkansas, which in 2018 awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was the London bureau chief of the New York Herald-Tribune, and was a writer for The New Yorker. He is the author of four other novels, also available from the Overlook Press: Norwood, The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, and Gringos. A selection of his writing has been collected in Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany.
Praise for True Grit: A Novel
“How to describe the indescribable? Probably the best description I can give of True Grit is that I’ve never given it to any reader — male or female, of any age or sensibility — who didn’t enjoy it.”
— Donna Tartt
“Skillfully constructed, a comic tour de force.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Quite simply, an American masterpiece.”
— Boston Globe
“Rollicking . . . a beaut narrated in the unforgettable voice of Mattie Ross . . . Portis has crazy-cool literary swagger.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Charles Portis is an original, indescribable sui generis talent . . . Rereading Portis is one of the great pure pleasures—both visceral and cerebral—available in modern American literature.”
— Ron Rosenbaum
“It’s possible that True Grit is the genuine article—a book so strong that it reads as myth."
— Ed Park
“Charles Portis’s True Grit is a masterpiece.”
— Anthony Bourdain
“The dialogue in True Grit is exquisite.”
— David Mamet
“I’ve always thought Charles Portis had a wonderful talent—original, quirky, exciting.”
— Larry McMurtry
“An epic and a legend.”
— Washington Post
“Charles Portis’s True Grit captures the naive elegance of the American Voice.”
— Jonathan Lethem