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News Release — New Lonesome Dove Book

Filming Lonesome Dove, 1988, © Bill Wittliff 
Filming, on the set of Lonesome Dove, 1988, © Bill Wittliff


RELEASED 9/27/12


Saturday, October 20, the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos launch the second Lonesome Dove volume in their book series with the University of Texas Press. To celebrate the publication of A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, the Wittliff is hosting a free panel discussion with contributors JOHN SPONG, JEFF WILSON, and BILL WITTLIFF, moderated by STEPHEN HARRIGAN. SIGNED books will be for sale before and after the discussion. (No book signing at the event.) A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove is 12 x 12 in., 168 pp., 137 color and 2 b&w photos, hardcover, $50.00+tax.


6:30 p.m. DOORS OPEN and sales of SIGNED books begin
7:30 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION with John Spong, Jeff Wilson, Bill Wittliff, Stephen Harrigan

Location: the LBJ STUDENT CENTER BALLROOM on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos.

Admission is FREE.

General Admission seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
(PLEASE NOTE: an RSVP does not guarantee a seat—attendees should arrive early.)

SIGNED books will be for sale before and after the discussion. (No book signing at the event.)
[12 x 12 in., 168 pp., 137 color and 2 b&w photos, hardcover, $50.00+tax]

A special satellite display of costumes from the film will be on view at the venue.

Questions: 512.245.2313, ext. 0.


Widely acclaimed as the greatest Western ever made, the Lonesome Dove miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has become a true American epic. A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove—new in the Wittliff Collections’ series with the University of Texas Press—takes a fascinating look at the creation of the novel, the miniseries, and the world of a small, dusty Texas border town called Lonesome Dove.

In the book, writer JOHN SPONG expands his Texas Monthly cover story of July 2010 by interviewing forty of the key people connected to Lonesome Dove, including author Larry McMurtry; actors Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Ricky Schroder, D. B. Sweeney, Frederic Forrest, and Chris Cooper; executive producer and screenwriter Bill Wittliff; executive producer Suzanne de Passe; and director Simon Wincer. They and a host of others recount lively stories about McMurtry’s writing of the novel and the process of turning it into a miniseries that won numerous awards, including seven Emmys®.

Accompanying the recollections are studio photographs by JEFF WILSON of filmmaking materials preserved in the major Lonesome Dove production archive at Texas State’s Wittliff Collections, many of which are on permanent display: props and costumes, set and wardrobe designs, shooting scripts, and more. Continuity Polaroids used during filming and photographs taken by BILL WITTLIFF on the set bring the behind-the-scenes action to life.

Designed as a companion for A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove, Bill Wittliff’s magnificent fine-art volume, A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove is a must-have for every fan of this sweeping frontier drama.


A staff writer at Texas Monthly since 2002 and now a senior editor, Spong was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2010. His stories have been collected in The Best American Sportswriting 2009, Literary Austin, and Rio Grande, an anthology in the Wittliff Collections’ literary book series with UT Press.


Wilson is the author of Home Field: Texas High School Football Stadiums from Alice to Zephyr. He has worked as a freelance photographer for media outlets including ESPN, Men’s Journal, Texas Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and Houghton Mifflin. His work has appeared in the prestigious American Photography annual and the PDN 2003 photo annual.


Wittliff is a distinguished writer and photographer whose images have been published in the monographs A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove, La Vida Brinca, and Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy. With his wife, Sally, he founded the highly regarded Encino Press and the Wittliff Collections at Texas State. As a screenwriter and producer, his credits include Lonesome Dove, The Perfect Storm, The Black Stallion, and Legends of the Fall, among others.


Harrigan is author of five novels: Aransas, Jacob's Well, The Gates of the Alamo, Challenger Park, and Remember Ben Clayton. He has also written movies for television and is a long-time journalist whose articles and essays have appeared in a range of publications, including the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Life, National Geographic, and Slate. For many years Harrigan was a staff writer and senior editor at Texas Monthly, and in the June 1988 issue he published an article about his experiences on the set of Lonesome Dove. Harrigan also wrote the introduction to Wittliff's A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove.


This book was made possible in part by generous support from the following friends of the Collections: Caroline A. Forgason—in honor of her grandparents, Bob and Helen Kleberg, her mother, Helen Kleberg Groves, and her son, James Alexander Forgason; Ramona & Lee Bass; Judy & Jamey Clement & Family; Frost Bank; and Suzanne & Marc Winkelman.