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Book club hosts Billy the Kid Author


The Mesilla Valley, Southern New Mexico Book Club will host author Dennis McCarthy via Zoom at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5. Email bitsabookclub@gmail.com for the meeting ID and passcode.

McCarthy will talk about his recent publication, “The Gospel According to Billy the Kid,” which was published by the University of New Mexico Press (UNMP) in March.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

“Like many good stories of the old West, this one begins in a saloon,” UNMP said about the book on its website. “In 1914 in El Paso, Texas, two strangers strike up a conversation at the bar – Bill Roberts, a real-life figure who died in Hico, Texas in 1950, and a former U.S. Army scout whose brother knew Roberts by another name: Billy the Kid.

“So begins ‘The Gospel According to Billy the Kid,’ a tale of the old New Mexico territory, corrupt lawmen, honest ranchers, murder, betrayal and the explosive events of the Lincoln County War that sent young Billy off seeking justice – and headed toward a bloody rendezvous with a sheriff hired to track him down. In the saloon Roberts has us imagine another story, told 33 years later over shots of whiskey, about a young outlaw given a second chance to find himself, to find peace, and to finally grow up and out from under the shadow of his own infamy.”

McCarthy has been a park ranger, ecologist, speechwriter, editor in chief, professor and attorney, the book club said in an email. At work on his second novel, he and his wife and beagle live in Santa Fe.

Dennis McCarthy