Return to The Gay Place

Forty years ago a little-known writer named Billy Lee Brammer published one of the great political novels of all time. The Gay Place depicts an Austin that no longer exists in a state whose politics have changed completely.

The country is most barbarously large and final.” It is one of those rare first lines that readers remember all their lives. Published forty years ago, a novel called The Gay Place captured a period in Texas that today may seem as archaic as the book’s title, but its power bridges the years and generations gone by. The novel built for its author, Billy Lee Brammer—also known as Bill or Billie Lee or William—a legend of


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