A Celebration of True Grit

Indy Grit Community True Grit.jpg

This month and next, the Eiteljorg Museum is leading a citywide National Endowment for the Arts reading celebration of the classic Western novel (and perhaps my favorite John Wayne movie), True Grit, by Charles Portis. True Grit explores themes of courage, endurance and personal growth in each of its three main characters: Mattie Ross, Rooster Cogburn, and La Boeuf.

I attended one of the kickoff events this past weekend at the Eiteljorg -- a presentation by author and filmmaker, Jay Jennings. Charles Portis, the author of True Grit, shies away from publicity and the public, but has befriended fellow author, Jay Jennings, and consented to his editing a collection of Portis’ short stories and other miscellaneous writing. Mr. Jennings presented an entertaining profile of the author, the history of the book, and the 1969 film, starring John Wayne, in which Mr. Portis collaborated with the film director.

You can check out the schedule of NEA Big Read events here, that include Saloon Night with Brick Street Poetry & Hotel Tango Distillery, True Grits cooking class with Duos Kitchen, plus screenings of both the 1969 and 2010 film versions.

For the NEA Big Read, thousands of copies of True Grit will be given away to encourage a community-wide shared reading experience. I encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself and read the novel that inspired the films. We can all be entertained and motivated by the grit depicted by Mattie Ross, Rooster Cogburn, and La Boeuf.