The Ox-Bow Incident
Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Fiction, Children's Literature, Historical Fiction
The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1940 western novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, in which two drifters are drawn into a lynch mob to find and hang three men presumed to be rustlers and the killers of a local man. Clifton Fadiman, writing an introduction to the Readers Club edition, called it a "mature, unpitying examination of what causes men to love violence and to transgress justice," and "the best novel of its year." In 1943, the novel was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated movie of the same name, directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda and Harry Morgan. The Ox-Bow Incident is Clark's first published novel.