John Graves

Author's Profile Photo

John Graves was born in Fort Worth in 1920 where he explored the Trinity River bottom before it became littered with beer cans. He graduated from Rice University, received a master’s degree from Columbia, and served in the Pacific as a firm lieutenant where he lost the sight in one eye. He taught at the University of Texas and Texas Christian University before writing four notable Texas books, Goodbye to a River, Hard Scrabble, From a Limestone Ledge, and Myself and Strangers. Over the years, Graves has also contributed to Texas Monthly and written for the Sierra Club, the Atlantic, Esquire, and the New Yorker.

Articles by John Graves

The Old Country

Jan 20, 2013 By John Graves

I've become a sort of pessimistic accepter of the changes that have beset the Hill Country in recent years, unacceptable though many of them may be. But I'm grateful for having experienced the hills earlier, when change was slight—and grateful too for corners and stretches still untouched.

Paw Prints

Jan 20, 2013 By John Graves

Photographer Keith Carter’s latest pet project reminds me of big Texas dogs I’ve owned—some clownish, some serious, but every one of them great.

Great Guns

Sep 30, 2006 By John Graves

In my 86 years I’ve come into the possession of an assortment of firearms: a Colt .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol that my grandfather bought at a hardware store in Cuero; a Remington Model 870 pump, 20-gauge shotgun that my Aggie uncle-by-marriage used to shoot birds; the Winchester Model 06 pump .22 rifle I got on my tenth birthday; and many others. And each one has a story.

Big River

May 31, 1982 By John Graves

A photographic tour of the timeless Rio Grande, from its origins in the mountains of Colorado to the Padre Island dunes at the tip of Texas.


Mar 1, 1982 By John Graves

Saint Paul said that a little wine is a fine thing. He must have known something.

Country Notes
Lord of the Flies

Aug 31, 1981 By John Graves

Fly-fishing is a particularly fastidious way of trying to fool a fish, but it’s also a particularly pleasant one.

Going Under

Mar 1, 1981 By John Graves

For a man and his daughter out for a pleasant day’s fishing, the first sign of danger was a man’s hat floating silently down the stream.

Sacred Cows

Dec 1, 1978 By John Graves

Cows are dumb, they eat a lot, and they cost more to raise than they’re worth. Still, you can’t help loving ’em.

The Loser

Jul 31, 1978 By John Graves

When another farmer goes broke his neighbors thank God it wasn’t them; then they wonder when their turn is coming.