Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of the classic novel ""The Ox-Bow Incident"", was one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, who helped to change American literature by making the West and its vast, haunted landscapes a legitimate subject for serious fiction. But his career, which began so brilliantly, largely ended when he was still a comparatively young man, stifled by a paralyzing case of writer's block. Jackson J. Benson, one of the country's foremost literary biographers, has produced the first full-length biography of this brilliant, enigmatic figure, focusing on Clark's intellectual and literary life as a writer and teacher, and on his life in the transforming midcentury West of which he was so passionately a part. Available now for the first time in paperback, ""The Ox-Bow Man"" is both a remarkably astute and sensitive examination of a complex, ultimately anguished writer and a sage assessment of Clark's pivotal place in the literary history of the West. More than a biography, this is a compelling examination of the literary world of the twentieth-century West and of the evolution of Western writing at the hands of one of its greatest masters.
Jackson Benson has published ten books on modern American literature, among them The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer, which won the PEN-West USA Award for Non-Fiction, and Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work, which won the Evans Biography Award. Benson was professor of English and American literature at San Diego State University for thirty-one years until his retirement in 1998.