Radio Wolinsky

Larry McMurtry (1936-2021), 1994

Larry McMurtry, with Diana Ossana, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff, recorded October 13, 1994 while on tour for the collaborative novel, Pretty Boy Floyd.

Larry McMurtry, the regional novelist who became an iconic American literary figure, died of congestive heart failure at the age of 84 on March 25, 2021. The author of such classic novels as Lonesome Dove, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Desert Rose, he also wrote over thirty screenplays, many of them in collaboration with Diana Ossana, with whom he lived for several decades.

Rarely one to go on a book tour, Larry McMurtry, along with Diana Ossana, showed up at the KPFA studios to publicize Pretty Boy Floyd, and it was there on, October 13, 1994, that Richard A. Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky had a chance to talk with both of them about their book, and with Larry McMurtry about his career.

While Pretty Boy Floyd was the first collaboration between Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, it would be far from the last. After writing the novel and working on the miniseries Streets of Laredo, which was aired in 1995, they would again collaborate on two more miniseries, Dead Man’s Walk, a prequel to Lonesome Dove, and Comanche Moon, based on Larry McMurtry’s novel, along with screenplays for two films – Good Joe Bell, which hit the festival circuit in  2020, starring Mark Wahlberg, and in 2005, Brokeback Mountain, which won them both the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

In the interview, they discuss the screenplay for Pretty Boy Floyd, and a screenplay for a film adaptation of the 1950s television series, Father Knows Best. Neither screenplay ever became a film.

This interview was digitized, remastered and edited by Richard Wolinsky in March 2021. This is the first time the complete interview has been heard.