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There's so much mystery around Charles Portis that we're not even clear whether he’s alive

A review of Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany, edited by Jay Jennings. Despite critical acclaim and a devoted fan base, the American author seems destined to remain on the sidelines

7 June 2014

9:00 AM

7 June 2014

9:00 AM

Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany Jay Jennings (ed)

Overlook Duckworth, pp.364, £9.99, ISBN: 97809150472248

The American writer, Charles Portis, has had what some novelists — the more purist ones — might regard as an ideal life. While his books have seldom been big-sellers, his fans sink to their knees at the mention of his name.

In the mid 1980s, two bookshop employees in New York were so smitten with Portis’s then out-of-print novel, The Dog of the South, that they bought up all 183 hardback copies on the market and put them in their bookshop window.

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