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The result was ...
The result was his first novel, Murders at Moon Dance, appearing in 1943. It was an audacious debut with bold characterizations and a sharply etched, atmospheric setting The dusty town of Moon Dance, smacked down between barren mountains and a badland named the Freezeout, would also be a back-drop for The Big It and Other Stories (1960). In Guthrie's hand, raw vitality replaces the woodenness of much writing in the genre, and unexpected grace notes in the verbal rhythms suggest the author of The Big Sky (1947) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Way West (1949).
At a difficult and sad time in his family life, future Pulitzer Prize-winner Guthrie turned to reading western and whodunit novels. It was then that he realized that he could write as well as current plot-spinners. He decided to combine the two genres, and the result was his first novel, Murders at Moon Dance, which appeared in 1943.
Posted July 3, 2014
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