Pamela Colloff, Abraham Verghese, and O. Rufus Lovett

Pamela Colloff

Pamela Colloff

For senior editor Pamela Colloff, 2007 marks an important milestone: her tenth year at Texas Monthly . During that time, she has covered all corners of the state, writing more than 75 stories on topics ranging from illegal immigration to buying lipstick at Neiman Marcus. When she’s working on a major piece, Colloff spends about three weeks on the road, and that dedication to detail is evident in “ The Beating of Billy Ray Johnson ”, which is set in the East Texas town of Linden. “The state has endless opportunities for telling stories,” she says. “I’m lucky to work at a magazine that allows me to spend so much time reporting.”

Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese

I came to medicine because I always saw it as a noble and romantic pursuit,” says new writer-at-large Abraham Verghese, who was born and raised in Ethiopia. Fifteen years ago, the pursuit led him to Texas, first to El Paso, and then to San Antonio, where he’s the director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the holder of the Joaquin Cigarroa Jr. Chair in Medicine and the Marvin Forland Distinguished Professorship. All the while, Verghese has been writing too, publishing two books and many magazine articles. This month, he shares his thoughts on the decline of the patient-physician relationship (“ Bedside Manners ,”). “The criticism I most often hear about doctors is that they seem inattentive. Too many instruments, gadgets, and computer screens can make it seem that way.”

O. Rufus Lovett

O. Rufus Lovett

The violent crime committed against a mentally disabled man in Linden (“ The Beating of Billy Ray Johnson ,”) presented a challenge to contributing photographer O. Rufus Lovett. “It was really important for me to reveal this cold, stark institutional environment this man is now living in as a result of the physical and emotional brutality that he experienced,” he says. The Longview resident, who teaches at Kilgore College and has had his work exhibited at the Amon Carter Museum, in Fort Worth, was struck by the resilience of the family directly affected by the incident. “Their ability to cope with their circumstances is pretty darn extraordinary.”

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