Best Western Historical Novel--Western Writers of America
Bryan Woolley creates a compelling story giving antihero Sam Bass a fictional life, bringing him alive through six alternating voices--Maude, the whore who was Bass' lover; Mary Matson, the African American who took him in and tended him as he lay dying; Dad Egan, the lawman who was once a father-figure to young Sam Bass but feels compelled to bring down the outlaw; Frank Johnson, who rode with Bass but left the outlaw life to reappear as a small-town doctor; and Jim Murphy, the well-meaning saloonkeeper who makes a bargain with the law and brings down Sam Bass.
"...a gritty, occasionally funny and finally affecting story" --Publishers Weekly
"...a quiet, eloquent, probing novel infinitely more satisfying than the most gripping of the hoofbeats-and-hot-lead treatments of the man-to-myth Sam Bass" --Dale Walker, El Paso Times
Bryan Woolley (1937-2015) was a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News from 1989 until his retirement in 2006.
Previously, he worked at newspapers including The Anniston Star in Alabama, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., and the Dallas Times Herald.
Woolley, who earned degrees at the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Christian University and Harvard University, was the author of several books, including the novels November 22 and Some Sweet Day, and several compilations of his newspaper work.
He received many honors for his writing, including the PEN West Literary Journalism Award, three Stanley Walker Newspaper Journalism Awards and an O. Henry Magazine Journalism Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.