TEXAS HAS ALWAYS had this kind of mythology to me because I had to leave it when I was very young. Both of the novels I’ve written center on Texas in some way, and somewhere in my brain—and I wish I could articulate this better—the place is all mixed up with missing my dad. Larry McMurtry writes in All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers about how if you’re forced to leave Texas before you’re ready, before the state lets you go, then you always dream of it. That’s been true for me because my father lived there, and I didn’t get to see him as much as I wanted to. When I was growing up on the East Coast, I always wanted to be in Texas.