DANVILLE — “True Grit is when you are a 14-year-old girl from Yell County, Ark., and you’ve just shot a dangerous outlaw and the gun’s recoil has sent you backward into a pit, and you are wedged in the pit and sinking fast into a cave below where bats are brushing your legs, and you reach out for something to hold on to and find a rotting corpse beside you and it’s full of angry rattlers, and then it turns out you didn’t kill the outlaw, he’s up at the rim of the pit laughing at you, about to shoot you and you don’t lose your nerve. That’s True Grit,” wrote Eliot Fremont-Smith, critic for the New York Times.
“True Grit” is the selection of the Adult Book Discussion on Tuesday, April 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Cafe 505, 505 S. Market St., across from the Municipal Building in Danville.
The novel is told from the perspective of 14-year-old Mattie Ross, shortly after the end of the American Civil War. Mattie leaves her mother and siblings in search of Tom Chaney, the hired hand that robbed and murdered her father. In order to hunt him down, she hires a U.S. Marshall with “True Grit,” Rooster Cogburn. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (pronounced “La Beef”) who had already tracked Chaney across several states. Together Mattie, Cogburn and LaBoeuf follow Chaney into “Indian territory” in order to bring him to justice.
“True Grit,” Charles Portis’ most famous novel, was published in 1968 and became the basis for the movie starring John Wayne. In 2010, a remake of the film produced and directed by the Coen brothers was nominated for several Academy Awards and starred Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.
Leading the discussion will be Will Durbin, a graduate of Xavier University. This program is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Copies of the novel are available at the Danville Public Library.
Published on April 6, 2011