Books

Reviews, profiles, and interviews that capture the diverse voices adding to Texas’s rich literary tradition
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Books|
November 1, 1999

Wild Town

Through the eyes of novelist Jim Thompson, Fort Worth in the twenties seemed appropriately noir.

Books|
September 30, 1999

Paris, Texas

Madeline at Neiman Marcus, the Capitol, the Alamo: A classic children’s heroine comes to the Lone Star State—and a bookstore near you.

Books|
June 30, 1999

Back to the Future

Forget the critically panned Instinct, which was “suggested by” his novel Ishmael. Houston’s Daniel Quinn wants you to know what he really thinks about the modern world.

Media|
May 31, 1999

Lynch Mob

Like the coffee and pie in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, the Arlington-based fanzine Wrapped in Plastic is damn fine.

Books|
May 31, 1999

East Toward Home

The Town Lake soccer fields in Austin, shopping at Kathleen Sommers in San Antonio, sunsets in Big Bend: Good-bye to all that and (sniff) a whole lot more.

Politics & Policy|
April 30, 1999

The Obsession Thing

When someone says she loves George Bush these days, she’s almost certainly talking about the man William Bennett recently christened “W.” But at least one novelist prefers the ex-president to the presidential hopeful. Next January Simon and Schuster will publish Lydia Millet’s George Bush, Dark Prince of Love, which she

Books|
April 30, 1999

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsTexas honky-tonker Floyd Tillman is best known for heartbreak lyrics like “Slipping Around” and “It Makes No Difference Now.” But on Herb Remington Instrumentally Salutes Floyd Tillman (Glad), the chiming steel guitarist for Bob Wills’s post-war Texas Playboys demonstrates that Tillman’s poppish material is equally strong on melody and

Books|
April 30, 1999

David Hale Smith

David Hale Smith rejects more than three hundred manuscripts each month, but when he accepts one, publishers take note. Since 1994, when he left the tutelage of Dallas superagent Jan Miller and founded his own agency, DHS Literary, the thirty-year-old has established himself as one of the industry’s young lions,

Books|
April 30, 1999

Cotton Tale

Long before Lonesome Dove and other cattle-culture classics defined Texas for the world, Hold Autumn in Your Hand—a novel that wasn’t about cowboys or Longhorns—won critical acclaim. With good reason.

Books|
March 1, 1999

Jim Dandy

Call it A Simpler Plan: Austinite Jim Magnuson’s new novel is about the consequences of finding a lot of money—and it’s a good read.

Books|
November 1, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsDistancing themselves further still from their earlier banjo-punk novelties, Austin’s Bad Livers go with what they know on Industry and Thrift (Sugar Hill). There is too much attitude and eclecticism at work to call this traditional bluegrass, yet despite a couple of electric interludes, the musical leanings of composer-singer

Books|
November 1, 1998

Grumpy Old Man

Dan Jenkins has just published his eighth novel. It’s called Rude Behavior. Spend a few hours with him and you’ll know why.

Books|
August 31, 1998

Holding Court

He writes legal thrillers, he is a practicing lawyer, and he has been at it since 1990—one year longer than John Grisham. But even if San Antonio’s Jay Brandon hasn’t matched the success of the author of The Firm and The Pelican Brief, he logs remarkably good sales and keeps

Books|
July 1, 1998

Desperately Seeking Cormac

Cormac McCarthy’s birth date and birthplace are just two of the facts about him that have eluded his rabid fans—until now. A dossier on the most fiercely private writer in Texas.

Guides|
June 30, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsInevitable baggage accompanies an album whose sessions splintered a great band, ousted three producers, and outlasted a record company. But if ex-Austinite Lucinda Williams is a paragon of self-doubt, she’s also a gifted writer who gets to the core of a character in the course of a three-minute tune.

Books|
June 30, 1998

Sci-fi Fo Fum

Texas is filled with giants in the science-fiction field these days, but none loom larger than Bruce Sterling and Michael Moorcock.

Books|
May 31, 1998

Bass, Master

The first commandment of fiction writing is: Show, don’t tell. Rick Bass knows it well, though he still struggled through many drafts before finishing his first novel, Where the Sea Used to Be (Houghton Mifflin, $25), which will be published this month. “Paint the images and trust the readers to

Books|
May 31, 1998

James Lee Burke

I THINK I GOT interested in writing when I was in the fifth grade. I started writing short stories, and I remember wanting to get them published in the Saturday Evening Post. In high school I wrote a lot of poetry, but I wasn’t a good student; I think I

Books|
May 31, 1998

Bond Plays On

SUNBURNED AND HUNGRY after a day of tubing down the Guadalupe, you head back to Austin for dinner at one of your favorite Tex-Mex restaurants—a garish, festive joint called Chuy’s. You are seated and slurping on a margarita when you spot a striking man in a nearby booth. A little

Guides|
April 30, 1998

Around the State

The Bass Performance Hall is open for business, and the acoustical expectations are high (Fort Worth). Plus: Readers and writers celebrate literary Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and elsewhere); the nation’s top golfers get in the swing (Dallas and San Antonio); Texas Czechs bounce to the strains of primo

Books|
April 1, 1998

Arts and Wozencraft

Except for the time she spent as a police officer in Plano and Tyler—when she couldn’t get past the “emotional shutdown” required by the job—Kim Wozencraft has always been a writer. She kept a journal as a child, as a student at Richland College in Dallas, and later, during a

Guides|
April 1, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsThis month Texas music shines on the silver screen. The soundtrack for The Horse Whisperer (MCA) not only features cuts from Don Walser, George Strait, and Steve Earle but also a Butch Hancock—Joe Ely— Jimmie Dale Gilmore reunion (long removed from Lubbock, they are now called the Hill Country

Books|
April 1, 1998

Kid Stuff

My literary mentor warned me not to write about my children. So why did I? Because I had to.

Guides|
March 1, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsSan Antonio’s Monte Montgomery is a guitarist’s guitarist, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of the music on 1st and Repair (Heart Music). He brings taste, precision, economy, and a playful sense of timing to poppish songs with sturdy hooks and sings in a voice that’s

Guides|
January 1, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsTalk about a “solo artist”: On You Coulda Walked Around the World (rainlight records), Butch Hancock is record label boss, co-producer, photographer, singer, songwriter, and lone musician. The Lubbock-born Hancock left Austin for Big Bend about a year ago, and the result is a casually haunted album that’s suffused

Guides|
December 1, 1997

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsSure, you can waltz across Texas to the Cornell Hurd Band’s Texas Fruit Shack (Behemoth), but you can also shuffle, two-step, boogie, and maybe even jitterbug. Joined by guest stars like Johnny Bush, Austinite Hurd fronts a versatile group that puts an authoritative stamp on the full run of

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