Posted on February 18, 2020 at 8:58 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Charles Portis, whose novel True Grit was twice adapted into award-winning movies, died Monday at the age of eighty-six.

While his other novels — Norwood, The Dog of the South, Masters of Atlantis, and Gringos — and other work earned him various lifetime achievement awards, he’s obviously best known for the tale of a teenage girl who seeks revenge on her father’s killer.

It was adapted first in 1969 with John Wayne and more recently in 2010, launching Hailee Steinfeld’s career and reviving that of Jeff Bridges.

But the films’ success was a mixed blessing for Portis.

Jonathan Portis, who confirmed his brother’s death, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that True Grit’s fame always made the writer uncomfortable.

“He didn’t like to attract attention. He was comfortable around his friends, but shy around strangers. He preferred to go as an unknown person because he was a people watcher,” Jonathan Portis said.

Categories: Today in Books

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