Charles Portis

Charles Portis

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Charles Portis

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Charles McColl Portis (born December 28, 1933) is an American author best known for his novels Norwood (1966) and the 1968 classic Western novel True Grit (1968), both adapted as films. The latter also inspired a film sequel and made-for-TV movie sequel. A new film adaptation of True Grit was released in 2010.

Portis has been described as "one of the most inventively comic writers of western fiction". His books have inspired cult-like devotion among their fans.

Early life

Charles Portis was born in 1933 to Samuel Palmer and Alice Waddell Portis in El Dorado, Arkansas. He was raised and educated in various towns in southern Arkansas, including Hamburg.

During the Korean War, Portis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and reached the rank of sergeant. After receiving his discharge in 1955, he enrolled in the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1958.

Career

Portis began writing in college, for both the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville student newspaper, Arkansas Traveler, and the Northwest Arkansas Times. One of his tasks was to redact the colorful reporting of "lady stringers" in the Ozark, a task credited as a source for the vivid voice which he created years later for his character Mattie Ross in True Grit., Open Letters Monthly, December 2010 After Portis graduated, he worked for various newspapers...
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