The Desert Rose

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Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry writes novels set in the American heartland, but his real territory is the heart itself. His gift for writing about women -- their love for reckless, hopeless men; their ability to see the good in losers; and their peculiar combination of emotional strength and sudden weakness -- makes The Desert Rose the bittersweet, funny, and touching book that it is.

Harmony is a Las Vegas showgirl. At night she's a lead dancer in a gambling casino; ...

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New York 1983 Hardcover First Edition Fine Number 234 of a special limited edition of 250, SIGNED by the author. Danbom and Son Books is a member of the Rocky Mountain ... Antiquarian Booksellers Assn.; 8vo 8"-9" tall; A republication of McMurtry's story of a Las Vegas casino dancer who somehow remains optimistic in that arid land of supermarkets, casinos, and second-rate men.; Signed by Author 0-671-49423-6; Signed by Author(s) Read more Show Less

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1983 Hard cover Deluxe special edition in slipcase of 250 copies. 1st printing. Very good. No dust jacket as issued. Signed by author. book: minor shelfwear to back board, front ... board a little loose, minor fading along bottom of spine edge, very faint 1/8" x 1/4" scuff to bottom edge. Although retaining original opened shrinkwrap,... First edition. Copy 157 of 250, maroon cloth covered boards with gilt stamping on front board & spine, in matching clipcase. a nice, probably unread, copy that would look nice in your collection. Signed & numbered on special bound in page a front of book. Read more Show Less

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NY 1983 Hardcover Limited Edition. 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Signed by Author First edition, first prnt. DeLuxe issue of 250 numbered copies signed by McMurtry on the limitation ... page. Copy #99. Issued with plastic dustwrapper and cloth-covered slipcase. Unread copy in Fine condition. Actual image of the book; not a stock photo. Read more Show Less

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The Desert Rose

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Overview

Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry writes novels set in the American heartland, but his real territory is the heart itself. His gift for writing about women -- their love for reckless, hopeless men; their ability to see the good in losers; and their peculiar combination of emotional strength and sudden weakness -- makes The Desert Rose the bittersweet, funny, and touching book that it is.

Harmony is a Las Vegas showgirl. At night she's a lead dancer in a gambling casino; during the day she raises peacocks. She's one of a dying breed of dancers, faced with fewer and fewer jobs and an even bleaker future. Yet she maintains a calm cheerfulness in that arid neon landscape of supermarkets, drive-in wedding chapels, and all-night casinos. While Harmony's star is fading, her beautiful, cynical daughter Pepper's is on the rise. But Harmony remains wistful and optimistic through it all. She is the unexpected blossom in the wasteland, the tough and tender desert rose. Hers is a loving portrait that only Larry McMurtry could render.

A loving portrait of a Las Vega showgirl in that arid neon landscape of supermarkets, drive-in wedding chapels and all-night casinos.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
A wry, funny, bittersweet gem…the quality of the writing is quite stunning…
The Dallas Morning News
From the Publisher
The Washington Post Book World Beautiful....Unquestionably one of [McMurtry's] best novels.

The New Yorker Sad and sweet yet rigorously unsentimental. Mr. McMurtry has the power to clutch the heart and also somehow to exhilarate.

Los Angeles Times Warm and funny...McMurtry can transform ordinary words into highly lyrical, poetic passages...and presents human dramas with a sympathy and compassion that make us care about his characters in ways that most novelists can't.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671494230
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1983
  • Pages: 254

Meet the Author

Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays. He lives in Archer City, Texas.

Biography

Back in the late 60s, the fact that Larry McMurtry was not a household name was really a thorn in the side of the writer. To illustrate his dissatisfaction with his status, he would go around wearing a T-shirt that read "Minor Regional Novelist." Well, more than thirty books, two Oscar-winning screenplays, and a Pulitzer Prize later, McMurtry is anything but a minor regional novelist.

Having worked on his father's Texas cattle ranch for a great deal of his early life, McMurtry had an inborn fascination with the West, both its fabled history and current state. However, he never saw himself as a life-long rancher and aspired to a more creative career. He achieved this at the age of 25 when he published his first novel. Horseman, Pass By was a wholly original take on the classic western. Humorous, heartbreaking, and utterly human, this story of a hedonistic cowboy in contemporary Texas was a huge hit for the young author and even spawned a major motion picture starring Paul Newman called Hud just two years after its 1961 publication. Extraordinarily, McMurtry was even allowed to write the script, a rare honor for such a novice.

With such an auspicious debut, it is hard to believe that McMurtry ever felt as though he'd been slighted by the public or marginalized as a minor talent. While all of his books may not have received equal attention, he did have a number of astounding successes early in his career. His third novel The Last Picture Show, a coming-of-age-in-the-southwest story, became a genuine classic, drawing comparisons to J. D. Salinger and James Jones. In 1971, Peter Bogdonovich's screen adaptation of the novel would score McMurtry his first Academy award for his screenplay. Three years later, he published Terms of Endearment, a critically lauded urban family drama that would become a hit movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in 1985.

That year, McMurtry published what many believe to be his definitive novel. An expansive epic sweeping through all the legends and characters that inhabited the old west, Lonesome Dove was a masterpiece. All of the elements that made McMurtry's writing so distinguished -- his skillful dialogue, richly drawn characters, and uncanny ability to establish a fully-realized setting -- convened in this Pulitzer winning story of two retired Texas rangers who venture from Texas to Montana. The novel was a tremendous critical and commercial favorite, and became a popular miniseries in 1989.

Following the massive success of Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry's prolificacy grew. He would publish at least one book nearly every year for the next twenty years, including Texasville, a gut-wrenching yet hilarious sequel to The Last Picture Show, Buffalo Girls, a fictionalized account of the later days of Calamity Jane, and several non-fiction titles, such as Crazy Horse.

Interestingly, McMurtry would receive his greatest notoriety in his late 60s as the co-screenwriter of Ang Lee's controversial film Brokeback Mountain. The movie would score the writer another Oscar and become one of the most critically heralded films of 2005. The following year he published his latest novel. Telegraph Days is a freewheeling comedic run-through of western folklore and surely one of McMurtry's most inventive stories and enjoyable reads. Not bad for a "minor regional novelist."

Good To Know

A miniseries based on McMurtry's novel Comanche Moon is currently in production. McMurtry co-wrote the script.

The first-printing of McMurtry's novel In a Narrow Grave is one of his most obscure for a rather obscure reason. The book was withdrawn because the word "skyscrapers" was misspelled as "skycrappers" on page 105.

McMurtry comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers. His father and eight of his uncles were all in the profession.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Archer City, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 3, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wichita Falls, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A., North Texas State University, 1958; M.A., Rice University, 1960. Also studied at Stanford University.

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