Walter Prescott Webb.

Books

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

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August 31, 2012

A Q&A With Brené Brown

Brené Brown discusses her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham Books) and her 2010 TED talk on vulnerability.

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July 31, 2012

Hecho en Brownsville

The grand opening of a new H-E-B in McAllen drew crowds—including several who showed up to hear a native son read from his collection of locally set short stories.

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May 31, 2012

It’s Not About the Guv

There’s more to Texas politics than Rick Perry. Gail Collins's new book demonstrates that the Northeastern media establishment doesn't understand that.

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May 23, 2012

Who’s Kinkier? Dallas or Houston?

There are 1,101 Houstonians on the waiting list to read one of the 38 library copies of 50 Shades of Grey. But the libraries of North Texas have stocked 148 copies and still have 829 people on hold.

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April 30, 2012

From Blogging to Book Deal

Houston Chronicle blogger Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) found herself at the center of a two-day auction among twelve publishing houses for the rights to her debut memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. How did she rise from unpaid blogger to New York Times bestseller?

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October 31, 2011

Black Like Him

Fifty years after it first electrified the nation, Dallas native John Howard Griffin’s classic book still has something to tell us.

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September 30, 2011

Sacred Mistrust

In Donna M. Johnson's memoir of a Pentecostal childhood, religious zeal and illicit love nearly tear a family apart.

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July 31, 2011

Gunfire and Brimstone

Fort Worth preacher J. Frank Norris paved the way for today’s televangelists. But he’s probably best known as the defendant in a wild 1927 murder trial.

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May 31, 2011

The Book of Elmer

Texas Christian University Press, long the hub of Elmer Kelton hagiography, has just released its newest paterikon, Elmer Kelton: Essays and Memories ($19.95), a collection of pieces written in honor of the beloved West Texas author, who died nearly two years ago. Among the memories are those of the Reverend

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March 31, 2011

An Excerpt From Trillin on Texas

Introduction Yes, I do have a Texas connection, but, as we’d say in the Midwest, where I grew up, not so’s you’d know it. I come from an immigrant family. Although my father sounded like Harry Truman and freely used phrases like “Haven’t had so much fun since the hogs

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June 30, 2010

Welcome to Utopia (Notes from a Small Town)

Entertainment Weekly staffer Karen Valby visited Utopia (population 241) in 2006 for an article about American backwaters relatively untouched by popular culture. Intrigued, she returned to research her first book, Welcome to Utopia (Notes from a Small Town), a deftly executed look at the stereotype of a one-horse

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June 30, 2010

Justin Cronin

The 47-year-old Rice University professor has taken a hard left turn in his writing career, following up his acclaimed literary novel The Summer Guest (2004) with the just-published The Passage, volume one of a near-future sci-fi trilogy populated by violent vampires (not the dreamy romantics we’ve seen of late) and

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April 30, 2010

Anna Mitchael

Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am’s subtitle—How I Ditched the South for the Big City, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties With (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact—might be unwieldy, but it provides a handy précis of this colorful memoir about the not-always-glamorous adventures of a young advertising

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April 30, 2010

The Marrowbone Marble Company

Loyal Ledford of Huntington, West Virginia, is the unassuming central figure of THE MARROWBONE MARBLE COMPANY, the lyrical second novel from Texas State grad GLENN TAYLOR, whose debut, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Ledford’s world is shaped by three

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February 1, 2010

David R. Dow

The founder of the Texas Innocence Network, who is also the litigation director at the Texas Defender Service and a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, uses his hard-won knowledge of the state legal system to maximum effect in his fifth book, The Autobiography of an Execution.

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December 1, 2009

Joan Schenkar

The award-winning dramatist (Signs of Life: Six Comedies of Menace) looks to the Texas roots of novelist Patricia Highsmith to explain the traits and compulsions that informed her life. In The Talented Miss Highsmith, she explores the crime writer’s journals and love letters to reveal a complex and erratic

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September 30, 2009

Neil Sheehan

The Massachusetts-born journalist has never been afraid to rankle the establishment: In 1971 he obtained the infamous Pentagon Papers from Daniel Ellsberg, which uncovered the government’s secret history of the war in Vietnam, and his 1988 Vietnam exposé, A Bright Shining Lie, earned him a National Book Award and a

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August 31, 2009

High Society

Colum McCann’s new novel revolves around Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974.

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January 1, 2009

Robb Walsh

Sex, Death & Oysters: A Half-Shell Lover’s World Tour captures the Houston food writer at his best, offering culinary insight, scientific fact, and offbeat humor as he travels the globe in search of the truth about oysters (including their alleged resemblance to the female anatomy and occasional fatal effects). His