Seems like westerns have suffered through an identity crisis the past few years. Too many people still see everything written about the west as the old formula western. And they are still being written, some good and some not so good.
One of my favorite writers, Glendon Swarthout, who wrote. They Came to Cordura, The Shootist, and many other terrific books never thought of himself as a writer of westerns. I read a piece recently where Mr. Swarthout said in 1985, ''I never set out to write a western, I used western settings to tell stories that are universal.''
That seems to be the key to great westerns, tell the story first and if it happens to fall into the western genre, great.
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