Larry McMurtry Honored with Literary Landmark

Larry McMurtry Honored with Literary Landmark

Larry McMurtry was honored with a Literary Landmark Dedication in a ceremony held at the Royal Theater on Friday, Nov. 18. and a plaque that was placed outside the Archer Public Library.

Archer Public Library Librarian Gretchen Abernathy- Kuck opened the ceremony with opening remarks about McMurtry and the importance of this dedication.

“I have learned so much about Larry McMurtry over this last year,” Abernathy-Kuck said. “And I hope tonight we can learn about, celebrate and honor his legacy with this gathering.”

The Texas Center for the Book’s Rebekah Manley was one of many speakers during the ceremony. Manley was one of the main people spearheading the project with Abernathy- Kuck for the landmark distinction as the state only had five sites prior to this year. She said it has been wonderful to watch how the Archer County community rallied around the important distinction.

“Literary Landmarks are special places which are located across the country that attract tourists, book lovers and history buffs to educate the public about the important literary works and history of the area,” Manley said. “A landmark is tied to a specific deceased figure, author or authors. It can be an author’s home, birthplace, a library where the work is crafted, an author’s burial site or in this case an author’s hometown.”

The new Texas sites were approved by United for Libraries, the national organization that administers the program, and were made possible by funding from the Summerlee Foundation of Dallas, covering application fees, foundry-made Literary Landmark plaques, and programming led by local institutions to create awareness of the sites’ importance to the state’s literary heritage.

Other speakers at the event included Assistant State Librarian for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) Tim Gleisner and President of TSLAC an United for Libraries Board member Andrea Lapsley. A panel discussion about McMurtry and his works was also held. Members of the panel were writers George Getschow, Beverly Lowry and Stephen Harrington. It was moderated by the Associate Professor of English at Midwestern State University Greg Giddings.

The night ended with an airing of the first episode of the Lonesome Dove TV series.

McMurtry was a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, essayist and screenwriter. He authored over 50 written works including The Last Picture and Lonesome Dove which were adapted for movies and television series which earned him multiple film awards. McMurtry passed away on March 25, 2021.

After the plaque was unveiled at the ceremony, it was installed by city workers outside of the Archer Public Library.