Winner of the 2013
Western Writers Of America
Winner of the 2012
Forward National Literature Award
for historical fiction
Winner of the Western Fictioneers 2013
Peacemaker Award for Best Western First Novel
Winner of the 2013 Kansas Notable Book Award from the Center for the Book/State Library of Kansas
Based on actual events, Wide Open is a novel of family and coming of age set in 1871 Abilene, Kansas, the first of the great prairie cowtowns. A tiny exotic dot of roaring humanity on the vast vacancy of the wilderness prairie, Abilene is a place in which good and evil are so evenly matched that no one knows which will triumph. In its Texastown district, recently hired marshal, James Butler Hickok, the West’s most famous gunman, struggles to control streets teeming with thousands of hostile cowboys. A violent confrontation seems certain, but it will be the revelation of a magnificent secret and the shock of an extraordinary tragedy that changes the town forever.
"Countless novels have been written about Wild Bill Hickok and the rough cattle town of Abilene, Kansas,
of the 1870s. Larry Bjornson, however, makes the story fresh, unique, and moving. WIDE OPEN is a delight, a
literate story with a wonderful cast of characters, boundless energy, and a perfect sense of place and time."
-- Johnny D. Boggs, Spur Award-winning author of EAST OF THE BORDER and NORTHFIELD
"From the raucous saloons kept in check by Marshal Wild Bill Hickok, to the farmers living in
sod houses as they struggle to scrape by, Larry Bjornson brings the West alive with such detail and clarity,
if I didn't know better, I would think he'd lived through it."
--Louis Sachar, author of Newbery Medal winner HOLES
WIDE OPEN - A novel by Larry Bjornson
Published by Penguin Group / Berkley Trade
© 2012 Larry Bjornson All Rights Reserved
Author's Rep - Anne McDermott: 323-209-3575