Mike Shea

Articles by Mike Shea

Why I Came West

Jul 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

Over the course of two decades living in Montana’s remote Yaak Valley, Houston-bred Rick Bass has produced 21 books—largely about the wilderness that surrounds him—and acquired a reputation as a zealous, not to say rabid, environmental activist. Why I Came West is his attempt to redefine himself as…

Nick Flynn

Jul 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The play Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins represents a chance for the award-winning poet and memoirist (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City) to “work a muscle [he] hadn’t before.” He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Houston. Is Alice your first play?…

Alive in Necropolis

Jun 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

The real-world town of Colma, California—home to about 1,600 residents and more than two million corpses in seventeen cemeteries (motto: “It’s great to be alive in Colma”)— provides an odd but effective setting for Alive in Necropolis, the quirky debut novel from Austin resident Doug Dorst. To the…

Books: A Memoir

Jun 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

More than forty years into his career as an antiquarian bookseller (not to mention his other job as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist), Larry McMurtry has paused to reflect on a life hawking secondhand tomes in Books: A Memoir. Given his accounts of the shops and bookmen who’ve succumbed…

Sichan Siv

Jun 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

It took the San Antonio resident thirty years to write the memoir Golden Bones—a reasonable time, perhaps, to assess a life that includes an escape from Cambodia’s killing fields and stints as both a New York City cabbie and a deputy assistant secretary of state under George H. W. Bush.

Sichan Siv Interview

Jun 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

It took the San Antonio resident thirty years to write the memoir Golden Bones—a reasonable time, perhaps, to appraise a life that includes an escape from Cambodia’s killing fields and stints as both a New York City cabbie and an ambassador to the United Nations. Diplomatic to the core, Siv…

Interview with Sam Gosling

May 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

A decade of research by this University of Texas at Austin psychology prof has led to new ways of understanding the relationship between individuals and the spaces they inhabit, as he now reveals with Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. Snoop posits that our things open a window…

How Perfect Is That

May 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

How Perfect Is That marks Sarah Bird’s return to the madcap plotting that was her stylistic calling card in late-eighties novels like The Boyfriend School. It’s an entertaining flashback, but why now? The Texas Monthly writer-at-large was coming off her two finest novels, The Yokota Officers Club…

The Franchise Babe

May 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

As the father of the golf novel (exhibit A: Dead Solid Perfect, circa 1974), Fort Worth’s Dan Jenkins holds license in perpetuity to exercise the genre’s clichés, which he does with relish in The Franchise Babe. Self-absorbed pro golfers and sizzling golf moms in “jacked-up minis” are just…