Friday, February 22, 2019

W.K. Stratton

W.K. Stratton is the author of several books of nonfiction and poetry. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Outside, GQ, and Texas Monthly, and was named a Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters in 2017. He is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas.

His latest book is The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film.

Recently I asked Stratton about what he was reading. His reply:
My work on Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film brought me into contact with the fabulous author Luís Alberto Urrea. He’s a great guy, and I learned from him that The Wild Bunch is his favorite movie. Connecting with him led me to reread Urrea’s books I’d already read and seek out those I hadn’t. I knew Urrea’s novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter and his nonfiction masterpiece The Devil’s Highway, which should have won the Pulitzer Prize. Revisiting those did not disappoint; both are American classics. I relished the discover of his 2009 novel, Into the Beautiful North, an ironic (on several levels) retelling of the Western movie The Magnificent Seven; I consider it to be a feminist novel in its depictions of empowered women. It also made me laugh out loud. Urrea can be very funny. His early book, Across the Wire, contains first-rate reportage. His poetry collection, Ghost Sickness, was a delightful and moving surprise, especially in its treatment of his mexicano father and his Anglo mother. Because of the breadth of his writing ability and the instant masterworks he is writing, I think Urrea just might be the best writer at work in America today.
Visit W. K. Stratton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue