On a whim, while working on the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Sara Davidson flies to Elko, Nevada, for a cowboy poetry festival. She has a chance meeting with an attractive, green-eyed cowboy from Arizona who makes bridles out of rawhide. At first she dismisses him as a jerk, an "insolent yokel," but months later, feeling at loose ends, she calls and invites him to visit for a weekenda weekend that alters the course of both their lives.
Having a fling with a cowboy is a common female fantasy, but for Sara and Zack the sexual fling deepens and intensifies. They try to resist it because they seem completely wrong for each other's and don't fit into each other's lives. Sara writes books and television shows, studied at Berkley and Columbia and lives in a suburb with her two young children. Zack barely finished high school, doesn't read the newspaper and lives in a trailer in the desert. Yet after several weeks apart, they're compelled to see each other again.
Sara's children are charmed at first by the visiting cowboy, but when they realize he's going to stay around, they react with anger and vulnerability. Sara's friends and colleagues are skeptical, and she's forced to adjust her own ideas about who's a suitable partner.
"The affair has endured," she writes, "and it has taught me things I did not know about love, the body and the heart, the way we link ourselves to people who may not be politically or socially or in any way correct."
Sara faces a classic struggle between the mind and the heart, the worldly and the timeless, and between one's loyalty and devotion to children and one's physical needs as a woman. She understands she must find a way to yoke these conflicting needs or be grateful for the romantic interlude and walk ahead on her own.
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"What does a woman want? Rodeo and Juliet," concludes Maureen Dowd of the New York Times as she mulls over the greater sociological implications of Sara Davidson's Cowboy: A Love Story. Davidson made her mark with Loose Change, a lively account of young women coming of age and sleeping around in the '60s. Now in her 50s, she has mapped another trend: taking lovers low on the social food chain. In Cowboy, which she describes as a "fictionalized memoir," Davidson chronicles her real-life affair with Richard Goff, a rawhide braider who sports turquoise boots and has never heard of Anne Frank. She's 10 years his senior, was educated at Berkeley and Columbia, and was the lead director and co-executive producer of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Improbable match? You bet your Stetson.
The two were tethered in 1993 when Davidson covered a cowboy poetry festival in Elko, Nevada, for the New York Times (which he seemed to think was a multiplication problem). When she returned to Los Angeles, he sent gushy, grammatically challenged letters and leathery trinkets of affection. Davidson flew her Marlboro man in for the weekend; what she thought would be an overnight fling blossomed into a romance that has lasted years. From work and family to education and upbringing, their relationship has tested every aspect of Davidson's life: her prepubescent children won't let her forget they want the "hick" gone, her ex is threatening to take the kids away, and supporting her trailer-bound buckaroo is straining her career. Fortunately, her friends give their blessing: "When you're 49, your close, true friends don't care if he's the Elephant Man, as long as you're happy."
Cowboy is down-to-earth, charming, and shameless. You can't help but root for the heroine when she's plagued with self-doubt, even if the love scenes gallop out of control: "I grabbed his hair and yanked his head back. 'God! You'll quit bucking and I'll have my way with you!" Still, it's a testament that love comes in many packages and at any age. Yee-haw! --Rebekah WarrenAbout the Author:
Sara Davidson captured America's imagination with her seminal account of life in the sixties, Loose Change. She has been called "the liveliest historian of her generation" by Malcolm Cowley. She was one of the first group that developed the craft of literary journalism, drawing on intimate material from her life and shaping it into a narrative that reads like fiction. Her articles have appeared in many magazines, including Mirabella, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic and the New York Times Magazine. She is the author of three other books: Real Property, Friends of the Opposite Sex and Rock Hudson: His Story. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060995823