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The Sea of Grass

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Title: The Sea of Grass  
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Subject: Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Richter, Phyllis Thaxter, That's Entertainment, Part II, Dan White (actor), Reader's Digest Condensed Books, The Sea of Grass (film)
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The Sea of Grass

This article is about the novel. For the film adaptation, see The Sea of Grass (film). For the ecological zone type, see Steppe.


The Sea of Grass is a 1936 novel by Conrad Richter. It is set in New Mexico in the late 19th century, and concerns the clash between rich ranchers, whose cattle range freely through the vast sea of grass, and the farmers, or "nesters," who build fences and turn the sod. It is an epic depiction of the end of the cowboy era in the American Southwest. Against this background is set the triangle of rancher Jim Brewton, his unstable Eastern wife Lutie Cameron, and ambitious Brice Chamberlain. Richter casts the story in Homeric terms, with the children caught up in the conflicts of their parents. The novel is narrated through the eyes of Hal, Colonel Brewton's nephew.

The novel was adapted for a 1947 film of the same name directed by Elia Kazan and starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Despite the talent involved, Kazan was embarrassed by the project and encouraged others not to see it.


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