Clancy Carlile

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Clancy Carlile
Born Clarence Lawson Carlile
January 18, 1930
Oklahoma, United States
Died June 4, 1998(1998-06-04) (aged 68)
Austin, Texas
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Novels, screenplay
Children Steven

Clancy Carlile (January 18, 1930 – June 4, 1998)[1] was an American novelist and screenwriter of Cherokee descent. He is perhaps best known for his 1980 novel Honkytonk Man, made into a film by Clint Eastwood.

Early years[edit]

Carlile was born in the Choctaw Nation's tribal jurisdictional area in Oklahoma, and his father was Cherokee. He had an erratic childhood,[2] and moved to Texas at a young age. Carlile was a high school drop-out.[3] He worked as a cotton picker until his family moved to California to pick fruit. He served in the army during the Korean War and after being discharged, obtained a master's degree at San Francisco State University.[4]


Carlile began writing, and penned his first novel, presumably As I Was Young and Easy (1958) in just 17 days. This was followed by Spore 7 (1979). In Honkytonk Man (1980), the tale of the life and death of a country singer which was made into a film by Clint Eastwood in which Eastwood also starred,[4] Carlile wrote both the novel and the screenplay.[5] His final novel, Children of the Dust (1995), about the settling of Oklahoma, was made into a CBS mini-series featuring Sidney Poitier. This novel is related to the author's heritage, being from the Oklahoma Territory. The story is set in the late 1880s, with Gypsy Smith (Poitier) being a gunslinger of African American and Cherokee descent who helps African American homesteaders settle the territory under the specter of white people. The novel, The Paris Pilgrims, regarding a mix of memoirs, biographies and fiction[6] of famous American expatriates in 1920s Paris,[3] was published posthumously in 1999.

Personal life[edit]

Carlile spent much of his later life in Austin, Texas where he had a writing fellowship at the University of Texas.[3] Carlile had at least one child, a son, Steven, and four grandchildren.[4] He died in Austin from cancer at the age of 68 on June 4, 1998.[4]


  1. ^ Pimsleur, J.L. (June 25, 1998). "Books In Brief". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  2. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (June 12, 2010). "Clancy Carlile; 'Honkytonk Man' Author". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Pimsleur, J.L. (June 25, 1998). "Obituary Clancy Carlile". SFgate. Retrieved December 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Clancy Carlile, 68, Author and Screenwriter". The New York Times. June 29, 1998. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ Eastwood, Clint; Kapsis, Robert E.; Coblentz, Kathie (1999). Clint Eastwood: interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. xxxiv. ISBN 1-57806-070-2. 
  6. ^ Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (July 7, 1999). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Fleshing Out Hemingway With Literary License". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2010.