(From the publisher):
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient
comes a visionary novel about an icon of American violence. William Bonney killed his first man when he was twelve. By the time he was twenty-one he had, by his own reckoning, slain nineteen more. In the intervening years he had become "Billy the Kid," bloodthirsty ogre and outlaw saint, a boy with buck teeth and a pleasant face who could shoot a stranger calmly in the heart and walk away while birds ravaged the corpse.
Drawing on contemporary accounts, period photographs, dime novels, and his own prodigious fund of empathy and imagination, Michael Ondaatje traces Billy's passage across the blasted landscape of 1880 New Mexico and the collective unconscious of his country. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a virtuoso synthesis of storytelling, history, and myth by a writer who brings us back to our familiar legends with a renewed sense of wonder.
Original title: The Collected Works of Billy the Kid
Genre: Poetry→ Epic and Narrative Poetry
Fiction→ Historical→ North America→ Nineteenth Century
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics→ Post-modern, Avant-garde, & Experimental
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- Awarded the 1970 Governor General's Award for Poetry