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Ed Park | Charles Portis


Begins September 3, 2020 Online

Ed Park | Charles Portis, True Grit

Charles Portis passed away earlier this year, and part of why I want to revisit his work is to pay homage to a writer whose books have sustained me for years. True Grit is peerless: a magical historical novel, a revenge story, an utterly convincing western, and yet somehow also brilliantly funny, even absurd. After just a few pages, you won't be able to get the voice of our narrator, the no-nonsense Mattie Ross, out of your head; you'll never forget Rooster Cogburn, the federal marshall she hires to hunt down her father's killer. You don't need me to read True Grit, a great American novel that's so entertaining it's been filmed twice. But I'm greedy: I want to read it with you.

Reading Schedule
Day 1 | September 3: From start (p.9) to p.27 ("Then I slept all right.")

Day 2 | September 4: From p.28 to p. 40 ("He had a mustache like Cleveland too.")

Day 3 | September 5: From p.40 ("Some people will say...") to p. 54 ("The defendant is remanded into custody.)

Day 4 | September 6: From p. 54 ("The judge rapped his gavel...") to p. 72 (end of chapter)

Day 5 | September 7: From p. 73 to p. 89 ("I had forgotten about him.)

Day 6 | September 8: From p. 90 to p.107 (end of chapter)

Day 7 | September 9: From p. 108 to p. 123 ("You too, Moon.")

Day 8 | September 10: From p.124 to p.140 ("One of them marshalls was Potter.")

Day 9 | September 11: From p.141 to p. 156 ("My name is Mattie Ross.")

Day 10 | September 12: From bottom of p.157 ("The man with the black mark...") to p.173 ("...don't be stopping again!")

Day 11 | September 13: From p.174 to p. 192 ("...bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!")

Day 12 | September 14: From p. 193 to p. 215 (end)

Ed Park

is the author of the novel Personal Days (Random House) and a founding editor of the Believer. His writing has appeared recently in the New York Review of Books, Lapham's Quarterly, the New Yorker, and the New York Times Book Review.

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