Author Denise Gee comes from a long line of Southerners who like to imbibe. Growing up in Natchez, Mississippi, she observed her fair share of Southern belles and seersuckered gentlemen with drink in hand. Eventually, cocktail hour became a distinctly personal and cultural experience for Gee, who set out…
What the late LBJ confidant Jack Valenti remembered about the longest day of his life.
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…
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.
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?)…
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…
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,…
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…
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?
Mark Heisler and Steve Delsohn, who wrote Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography, talk about their book, Bob Knight, and basketball.
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.
“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.”
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.
Professional suicide times two.
Celebrate San Antonio (Favorite Recipes Press 1986, first printing).
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…
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…
Contributing editor Turk Pipkin on his new book, The Old Man and the Tee.
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.
“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.”
These titles are sure to get a laugh—or at least a smile—from even the most somber bookworms.
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.
At UT's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, extraordinary cultural treasures are available for your inspectionif you know the magic word.
Suzan-Lori Parks gets the culture and cadence of West Texas right, sort of; Annie Proulx doesn't.
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.
Read an excerpt from Amarillo Slim's Top Ten Keys to Poker Success.
Fifteen years after Larry McMurtry announced he was through writing novels, he shows no sign of letting up. For this we should be thankful.
No one took the literature of Texas or the Southwest seriously until J. Frank Dobie put it, and us, on the map.
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.
An Austin children's book author stands up for herself (and African American girls everywhere).
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,…
An interview with Wyman Meinzer, author of Canyons of the Texas High Plains and Texas Rivers.
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,…
Novels about college classmates reconnecting and rekindling at reunion time are nothing new, but Tim O'Brien's July, July succeeds with honors.
W. K. Stratton's new book, Backyard Brawl, dissects the football feud between the state's two largest universities.
Kathy Hepinstall is one of four underappreciated Texas writers you should be reading this summer.
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.
Why I won't plug in, boot up, or log on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A memoir conjures up Donald Barthelmeand sheds light on his talented siblings.
In Sarah Bird's finest novel to date, she goes halfway around the world for down-home inspiration.
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.
Aaron Latham's new novel about a cowboy Camelot gets lost in the bull.
A collection of the letters of influential sociologist C. Wright Mills shows that his radical ideas were grounded in his Texas upbringing.
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.
Anne Dingus has a few bones to pick with the modern mystery novel, which she says has been decomposing in recent years. Stepping up to defend the genre: none other than Texas' queen of murder and mayhem, Mary Willis Walker.
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.