Thursday April 8th, 2010

The Side of Charles Portis’ Head

dog-by-portisThe Oxford American recently hosted its first annual “Best of the South” Awards Gala in Little Rock, Arkansas. The night’s honorees were Morgan Freeman and Charles Portis, a reclusive novelist with a cult following and the author of True Grit, which is currently being remade for the screen (the original starred John Wayne) by the Coen brothers. A reporter from the Arkansas Times captured Portis’ attempts to remain reclusive while being the center of attention:

There were other fleeting Portis sightings throughout the night. Later, while the crowd milled around over Southern-themed appetizers before dinner, a photographer returning from the hordes announced: “Charles Portis does not like to have his picture taken.” The photographer had followed him around the room, trying desperately to get one good photo of the author, only to be rebuffed at every attempt. “That son of a bitch took off every time he saw a camera. I got about a dozen shots of the side of his head.”

Just before the ceremony began, Portis was surrounded by a group of women:

One of the ladies asked him about the remake of True Grit: Did he like it? “I’m all for it,” he said, “as long as the checks don’t bounce.” Then another asked the author if he’d like to be on the cover of a local society magazine. To which he said, “I don’t think it would be a big seller for you.”

(Via Maud Newton)