Thomas F. McGuane III is a novelist, screenwriter, essayist, journalist and "counter-culture hero." At age 13, he was inspired to be a writer, attended an exclusive board school, but at age 18, ran away to a Wyoming ranch because of his difficult relationship with his alcoholic father (which would later shadow much of his fiction). McGuane was rebellious and only interested in writing; he flunked out of college. He eventually graduated from Michigan State University and edited the college literary magazine. He went on to study playwriting and dramatic literature at Yale University and earned a Wallace Stegner Fellowship to Stanford University. McGuane finished his first novel "The Sporting Club" in 1969 and bought a ranch in the breathtaking valleys of southern Montana. His second novel, "The Bushwhacked Piano," chronicled the romantic, sporting, and entrepreneurial hijinks of Nicholas Payne, earned rave reviews. His third book, "Ninety-Two in the Shade," a dazzling novel of free-floating angst and male brinkmanship set in the Florida Keys, was widely acclaimed in literary circles. Among his later novels, "Nothing But Blue Skies" stands out as offering the broadest expression of McGuane’s thoughts on life in America and the American West. McGuane’s paeans to fly fishing ("The Longest Silence"), horses ("Some Horses"), and his life in the outdoors ("An Outside Chance") capture his belief in the redeeming potential of nature and sporting ritual, and are widely considered among his finest writing those genres. McGuane’s writing is noted for its mastery of language, a comic appreciation of human endeavors, multiple takes on the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, and relationships with the natural world in the changing American West. Thomas McGuane spoke to the student delegates at the 1993 Achievement Summit in his home state of Montana.
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