by Thames Williamson
edited by Phillip Douglas Howerton
University of Arkansas Press, 2023
Paper: 978-1-68226-224-5 | eISBN: 978-1-61075-789-8
Library of Congress Classification PS3545.I5617W66 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52


Although more than one hundred novels set in the Ozarks were published before it, Thames Ross Williamson’s 1933 novel The Woods Colt was the first to achieve notable success both popularly and critically. Written entirely in regional dialect, The Woods Colt is the story of the violent and reckless Clint Morgan, whose attempts to secure love and freedom force him down a path of self-destruction.

Simultaneously exploitative and romantic, The Woods Colt carries us back to the heart of the Great Depression, heyday of the hillbilly in pop culture, when the perceived self-reliance and old-fashioned wisdom of rural people allowed audiences to not only escape their current circumstances but also imagine more hopeful ways of living. Williamson, a prolific author, answered this interest with a fast-paced and action-driven novel filled with folklore that had, ostensibly, been authenticated by none other than renowned Ozarks expert Vance Randolph.

The Woods Colt, with its familiar sense of danger and adventure, continues to offer insight and entertainment as it wrestles with timeless themes of economic struggle, cultural conflict, and modernization. With an introduction and explanatory notes from Phillip Douglas Howerton, this new edition makes the seminal novel available once more to scholars, regional enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a tale of the Ozark hills.

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