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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Historical Fiction: Holliday by Matthew Di Paoli

by Matthew Di Paoli
July 5, 2023
Biographical Fiction, Western
Holliday follows the infamous 1880s gambler, dentist, and gunslinger, Doc Holliday. From the outset, Doc has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and is told to head to dryer climates and imbibe to prolong his life. He has also heard of a spring located somewhere along the frontier that could cure him—what he believes to be the mythical Fountain of Youth. The novel portrays Holliday as a rock star, a living legend, increasingly hounded by paparazzi, enamored by death, cards, booze, and women. Doc is a mixture of Clint Eastwood and Jim Morrison, and though he is able to help his friend, Wyatt Earp, exact revenge, his condition worsens, traveling from Arizona to Denver, and finally dying in a sanatorium in Colorado with his boots off. A slow and unfitting end for such a bombastic outlaw


About the Author
Matthew Di Paoli has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times including 2020. He has won the Wilbur & Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Holliday, the Prism Review, 2 Elizabeth's, and Momaya Review Short Story Contests. Matthew earned his BA at Boston College where he won the Cardinal Cushing award and the Dever Fellowship. He received his MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He has been published in Boulevard, Fjords, Post Road, and Cleaver, among others. He is the author of Killstanbul with El Balazo Press and teaches writing in New York City. You can find more at

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