Friday, March 13, 2009

RIP - Horton Foote, Texas Playwright and Screenwriter

The past few months have been spent trying to get some order and routine into my new life as a bookseller in South Padre Island, TX, and as such I have not been keeping up with the world around me, so this may be old news to many of you.

From AP News:
Playwright and screenwriter Foote, who movingly portrayed the broken dreams of common people in "The Trip to Bountiful," "Tender Mercies" and his Oscar-winning screen adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," died Wednesday, March 4, in Connecticut. He was 92.

Foote left the cotton fields of his native Wharton, Texas, as a teenager, dreaming of becoming an actor. But realizing his gifts as a storyteller, he embarked on a writing career that spanned more than half a century and earned him two Academy Awards ("To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Tender Mercies") and a 1995 Pulitzer Prize for "The Young Man From Atlanta

The stories and lives of the people Foote loved in Texas became the bedrock for many of his plays, with the fictional Harrison, Texas, standing in for Wharton.

Dividing his time mostly between Texas and New York, he kept the Wharton home in which he had grown up and did much of his writing there. "I picked a difficult subject, a little lost Texas town no one's heard of or cares about," Foote told The New York Times in 1995. "But I'm at the mercy of what I write. The subject matter has taken me over."Never one for urbane and trendy topics, Foote instead focused on ordinary people and how their nostalgic recollections would mislead them.
For more information on Horton Foote see my post dated February 23 or click here for a short slide show.

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