Larry McMurtry's 30th novel ("Rhino Ranch") will be released on Aug. 11, but it will probably be his last, according to an interview published in the Dallas Morning News. "I'm about at the end of [novel writing]," he said. "I can write certain things. I don't think I can write fiction any more."
It's an age thing, McMurtry, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1985 novel "Lonesome Dove." "Most great novels are written by people between 40 and 60, or 35 and 60. Not too many great novels are written by people over 75. Hardly any. Maybe Tolstoy."
But Tolstoy is not alone in being the exception to that rule. Booker Prize-winner Penelope Fitzgerald, for instance, published her first book at 58 and her masterpiece, "The Blue Flower," at the age of 79. And if you check the "late bloomer" listing in Wikipedia, you will find that Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harriet Doerr, Kenneth Grahame, Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Raymond Chandler, and Wallace Stevens are among the writers who succeeded despite starting to write later in life.