Wyoming Arts Council

Alexandra Fuller interview in NEW WEST

Jenny Shank is editor of the first-rate book section at New West. She interviewed Jackson writer Alexandra Fuller about her new book, “The Legend of Colton H. Bryant.” You can read the entire two-part interview by going to www.newwest.net and clicking on “Books.” Here’s an excerpt:

New West: How did you come up with the language you used in your narration? It has a lot of Wyoming slang and spirit to it.
Alexandra Fuller: Have you hung around roughnecks much?

NW: No, I haven’t.
Their language is so fun. Jake [Colton’s best friend] makes me laugh, just way he says “hello” — I’m on the floor. I am never bored, and I think that Middle America irons out its language and there’s a sort of politically correct dampening effect on the language. By the time I found Colton I’d already been out on the oil patch a couple of years, and I was pretty tuned into the language by then. I listened to a lot of country music, and if you haven’t listened to it, you really should. It’s so damn witty. It’s irreverent and at the same time it has this overriding kind of God-fearing goodness about it.

I came at this story with a kind of self-protective armor of irony and cleverness, liberal cattiness I guess. And I
came away with such respect — that’s not even a strong enough word — a deep reverence for people like Bill Bryant who can say less than any other man I’ve every met except maybe my father, and mean a whole lot more. Colton talked a lot — it kind of drove everyone crazy. He was always kidding around and joking.

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