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R O B E R T   L A X A L T   The Basque Hotel: Post-publication

Dustjacket for The Basque Hotel    Dust jacket for Child of the Holy Ghost    Dust jacket for The Governor's Mansion


The Basque Hotel was well received. It sold well, got good reviews, won awards, and was even nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Major publishers and agents expressed surprise that the author had chosen a small university press to publish the novel. Robert Laxalt went on to finish the trilogy, publishing Child of the Holy Ghost in 1992 and The Governor's Mansion in 1994 through the University of Nevada Press. Chronologically, Child of the Holy Ghost both predates and follows The Basque Hotel, with an interwoven double plot -- Pete's visit to his father's homeland and the story of his father's youth in the Basque County and emigration to Nevada to herd sheep. The Governor's Mansion fictionalizes (somewhat) Paul Laxalt's immersion in Nevada politics as a governor in the 1960s who encounters the Mafia, Howard Hughes, and many of the political characteristics and characters responsible for Nevada's unique identity. The Robert Laxalt Papers include manuscript drafts, correspondence,and notes documenting the development of the entire trilogy as well as Laxalt's other works.

The papers portray what happens after a book is published, as well, as shown by these examples from The Basque Hotel files :

A memorandum about the 1990 AAUP Book and Jacket Award

A press release about the NY Public Library "1991 Books for the Teenage" award

Excerpts from reviews

A review from Publishers Weekly

A display ad in Imprint, a booksellers' trade magazine

A letter from a literary agent

A note from Senator Harry Reid

A schedule for book signings




University LibrariesUniversity of Nevada, Reno • Contact Donnelyn Curtis • Updated 3 September, 2014