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The Wire Cutters Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 3.62

Paperback, Published in Nov 1997 by Texas A&M University Press

ISBN10: 0890967962 | ISBN13: 9780890967966

Page count: 396

The first novel to portray seriously nineteenth-century cowboy life, The Wire-Cutters was Moll__ E. Moore Davis's tour de force inspired by the Fence Cutting Wars fought by competing cattlemen and ranchers in Central Texas. First published in 1899, the novel introduced readers to a new kind of storytelling that prefigured an entire American literary genre—the Western—and predated Owen Wister's The Virginian (1902) and Andy Adams's Log of a Cowboy (1903), two novels widely regarded as the first Westerns by many unfamiliar with Davis's groundbreaking work.

Considered among the best of the region's early fiction writers, Davis spent time as a writer and newspaperwoman in Texas and Louisiana, using both states as settings for her stories. Her body of work demonstrates the movement away from romantic conventions toward a storytelling that relied more heavily on realism. Davis' Texas based novels especially reveal a writer whose sharp ear for regional dialect, abundant sense of frontier humor, and keen grasp of historical detail drive a narrative that is grounded in observable and shared experience. Centered around the destructive fence-cutting war waged against ranchers by cattlemen whose herds were cut off from water, The Wire-Cutters recreates the colorful vernacular and often quirky personalities of the cowboys, the rich folk culture of the region, and the particulars of daily life on the Western frontier.

Now, with a foreword by Lou Halsell Rodenberger which delineates the historical and literary significance of this important but forgotten novel, The Wire-Cutters is available for the first time since its initial publication to literary and cultural scholars and historians, as well as to lovers of the Western novel and readers of Texana.

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