Walter Prescott Webb.

Books

Reviews, profiles, and interviews that capture the diverse voices adding to Texas’s rich literary tradition

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February 1, 2007

Lost Echoes

In his newest genre-bending thriller, LOST ECHOES, six-time Bram Stoker Award winner JOE R. LANSDALE writes, as always, with the ease of a man born to the task. Meet young Harry Wilkes, of Mud Creek, who hears “dark sounds” from violent events of the past in the places they occurred.

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February 1, 2007

Rollergirl: Totally True Tales from the Track

ROLLERGIRL: TOTALLY TRUE TALES FROM THE TRACK, the memoir from Austin roller derby star MELISSA “MELICIOUS” JOULWAN, proves the cliché: You really can’t judge a book by its cover. In this case, a photo of two leggy skaters in the miniest of skirts (and is that a flash of panty?)

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February 1, 2007

Chasing Justice

As a Texas death row in-mate trying to prove himself innocent of a rape and murder in Tyler, KERRY MAX COOK was reminded of his fate every time another con made the death walk. CHASING JUSTICE is a hellish tour of a criminal justice system whose officers allegedly railroaded Cook

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January 1, 2007

Murder Among the OWLS: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery

MURDER AMONG THE OWLS, the fourteenth offering in BILL CRIDER’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery series, has no literary conceits; it is nothing more—nor less—than a pleasant police procedural set in the sleepy burg of Clearview. This time out, Rhodes is faced with the apparent slip-and-fall death of seventyish neighbor Helen

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January 1, 2007

Sunset Limited

Imagine a stage play with two characters in a ghetto tenement debating the value of life: White is a professor who jumped in front of a train, and Black is the ex-con who rescued him. This is the premise, weighted with all the pretensions of an Intro to Dramaturgy effort,

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January 1, 2007

Alternadad

Even the most cynical hipsters are terminally charmed by their own offspring, which explains how the birth of NEAL POLLACK’S first child, Elijah, sparked the satirist’s transformation—with the publication of ALTERNADAD and an online column of the same name—into America’s postmodern Erma Bombeck. Pollack writes of moving from Philly to

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June 30, 2006

Body of Work

For twenty years, the Southwestern Writers Collection, on the campus of Texas State University, in San Marcos, has gathered up manuscripts, personal papers, photos, and other mementos from various icons and at least one outlaw. Want to have a look-see?

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February 1, 2006

Knight Time

Mark Heisler and Steve Delsohn, who wrote Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography, talk about their book, Bob Knight, and basketball.

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February 1, 2006

Good Knight? Good Luck!

When Texas Tech University hired Bob Knight to coach the Red Raiders basketball team, in 2001, he was, er, a known quantity. And in every possible sense, he’s lived up to his billing.

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January 1, 2006

Louis Sachar

“Any idea you can think up and plan out isn’t going to be that good. There’s no way I could have thought up all of Holes beforehand.”

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July 31, 2005

Fame Game

Writer-at-large Don Graham on why Cormac McCarthy wouldn’t win a popularity contest against John Grisham or Tom Clancy—and why that’s a good thing.

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January 1, 2005

The Language of the Sycamores

There is nothing subtle about THE LANGUAGE OF SYCAMORES (New American Library), the latest novel from LISA WINGATE, a Central Texas writer who moonlights as an inspirational speaker (or vice versa). Wingate delivers a relentlessly uplifting message in the voice of narrator Karen Sommerfield, who is struggling to weather a

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January 1, 2005

Judgement Days

Lyndon Johnson cited passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the proudest moment of his presidency, and in JUDGMENT DAYS (Houghton Mifflin), Pulitzer prize—winning journalist NICK KOTZ puzzles together the complex alliance between LBJ and Martin Luther King Jr. that resulted in the landmark civil rights accomplishments of

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November 1, 2004

Accentuate The Negative

To read a Patricia Highsmith novel is to suspend one’s moral judgments. She irresistibly persuades us to side with killers and other amoral characters.

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August 31, 2004

Larry McMurtry

“I like to go out at night. I like to sit in a nice room and look at beautiful women. I don't want to just sit on my back porch drinking scotch, and there isn’t much more to do in Archer City.”

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January 1, 2004

Bum Books

These titles are sure to get a laugh—or at least a smile—from even the most somber bookworms.

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November 1, 2003

Eye On America

The co-authors of a new book about the assassination of JFK talk about how that tragic event changed the way the media cover news.

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September 30, 2003

King’s Ransom

At UT's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, extraordinary cultural treasures are available for your inspection—if you know the magic word.

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July 31, 2003

Killing Time

Stephen Graham Jones's All the Beautiful Sinners is a wild-eyed thriller; Amanda Eyre Ward's Sleep Toward Heaven is a tale of grief, forgiveness, and the death penalty.

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April 30, 2003

Not Moving On

Fifteen years after Larry McMurtry announced he was through writing novels, he shows no sign of letting up. For this we should be thankful.

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January 1, 2003

Master Class

No one took the literature of Texas or the Southwest seriously until J. Frank Dobie put it, and us, on the map.

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December 1, 2002

Ranch Undressing

Writer-at-large Don Graham discusses this month's cover story "The Secret History," and his forthcoming book on the King Ranch, King of Texas.

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November 1, 2002

Entrevista con Mario Vargas Llosa

EL ESCRITOR PERUANO MARIO VARGAS Llosa viene a Houston el 11 de noviembre como invitado del Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. El novelista, crítico literario, dramaturgo y ensayista es considerado uno de los más grandes escritores hispanoamericanos de nuestro siglo. Entre sus obras se encuentran las novelas La casa verde,

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November 1, 2002

Interview With Mario Vargas Llosa

PERUVIAN WRITER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA will be in Houston November 11, as a guest for the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The novelist, literary critic, playwright, and essayist is considered to be one of the greatest Spanish American writers of our century. His works include the novels The Green House,

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September 30, 2002

Days of Their Lives

Novels about college classmates reconnecting and rekindling at reunion time are nothing new, but Tim O'Brien's July, July succeeds with honors.

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July 31, 2002

Bitter Rivals

W. K. Stratton's new book, Backyard Brawl, dissects the football feud between the state's two largest universities.

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July 31, 2002

The Buzz

Kathy Hepinstall is one of four underappreciated Texas writers you should be reading this summer.

News & Politics |
April 30, 2002

Giant

Master of the Senate, Robert Caro's third volume on the life of Lyndon Johnson, is an exhaustive study of power, persuasion, and private parts.

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March 1, 2002

Hooked

When Matt Clark succumbed to cancer in 1998, the young writer left behind an inventive unpublished novel called Hook Man Speaks. Then his friends stepped in-and brought the book back from the dead.

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January 1, 2002

Punchline Willie

We knew he could sing, of course. What we didn't know was that he had such a great sense of humor. Here are some of Willie Nelson's favorite jokes from his just-published memoir, The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes.

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November 1, 2001

The Plot Sickens

Sandra Brown's latest novel-and her umpteenth best-seller-is called Envy. Funny, that's the last feeling I get when I read her work.

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November 1, 2001

Texas Ranges

In an excerpt from their forthcoming book, Texas Mountains, senior editor Joe Nick Patoski and freelance photographer Laurence Parent celebrate the wild beauty of the state's sierras.

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May 31, 2001

West Meets East

In Sarah Bird's finest novel to date, she goes halfway around the world for down-home inspiration.

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May 31, 2001

The Assassination in Me

This month my second novel about JFK's murder will be published. Why do I keep returning to Dealey Plaza and the events of that fateful day? Because I can't help myself.

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March 1, 2001

Return to The Gay Place

Forty years after it was published, Billy Lee Brammer's novel about LBJ-era Austin is still one of the best ever written about American politics. Yet just as interesting is the story of Brammer himself.

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February 1, 2000

Live and Learn

East Texas native George Dawson couldn’t read until he was 98. Now, at 102, he’s written a memoir. Next up: a high school equivalency diploma—but no driving.