Synopses & Reviews
The epic story by a first-rate storyteller: A gunman in black shows up in a remote southern Utah town just in time to save the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen from having to marry, against her will, a Mormon elder.
Includes bibliographical references (p. xxviii-xxix).
About the Author
William R. Handley is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of Marriage, Violence, and the Nation in the American Literary West.
Reading Group Guide
1. 1. How does blindness, both literal and metaphorical, function in the novel?
2. 2. What is the role of the setting and landscape?
3. 3. What is the significance of the many references to the “unseen hand”?
4. 4. How is the West represented in the novel?
5. 5. Literary critic Jane Tompkins has argued that “metamorphosis is what the novel strives for and enacts at every level. You can see it not only in the relation between character and landscape, but also in the constant boundary-crossing that takes place within and between characters.” Discuss.
6. 6. Whose worldview wins and why?