Jan Reid's Profile Photo

Jan Reid was a senior editor at Texas Monthly and also contributed to Esquire, GQ, Slate, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, and the New York Times. An early article about Texas music spawned his first book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Among his fifteen other books are a well-reviewed novel, Deerinwater, for which he won a Dobie Paisano Fellowship; a collection of his magazine pieces, Close Calls, that was a finalist for the Carr P. Collins Award; Rio Grande, a compilation of choice writing and photography on the storied border stream; and The Bullet Meant for Me, a reflection on marriage, friendship, boxing, and his physical and emotional recovery from a shooting in Mexico. Reid also wrote an award-winning biography of Ann Richards, Let the People In. Two of his novels, Comanche Sundown and Sins of the Younger Sons, won fiction-of-the-year awards from the Texas Institute of Letters. Reid died in 2020. His last novel, The Song Leader, was published in 2021.

98 Articles

Books |
September 30, 1990

That Mojo Season

An outsider exposes the hidden risks in Odessa’s bigger-than-life brand of football.

Texas History |
April 30, 1989

Texas Primer: The Runaway Scrape

In early 1836, after the fall of the Alamo, a small episode in Texas history revealed an aspect of our character we’d just as soon forget.

Texas History |
November 1, 1988

Compadres de la Revolución

Though the leaders of Mexico’s revolution all lived short and violent lives, a handful of those who rode with them have survived to a ripe old age in Texas.

Travel & Outdoors |
July 1, 1988

The Meanest River

Yes, it’s muddy, it’s treacherous, and it smells bad enough to gag a skunk; but it’s also the only thing between us and Oklahoma.

Books |
May 31, 1988

Character Flaw

A tour of the Texas psyche, with guides like Sam Houston, Katherine Anne Porter, and John Henry Faulk; a novel of adolescence addresses carnal knowledge and fundamentalist religion.

Books |
March 1, 1988

The Soft Sell

Once, the term “paperback original” was reserved for second-rate work. Now, thanks to an innovative editor, two Texas novelists are proud to see their books in softcover.

Books |
September 30, 1987

Novel Approach

Three novelists discover that a Texas connection need not be a tie that binds.

Books |
June 30, 1987

Oil Gluttons

Getty Oil dropped into the market like raw steak into a bay full of sharks: Oil and Honor clarifies the waters. Beverly Lowry keeps the pages turning in her deft and racy roman à clef. The Perfect Sonya.

Books |
April 1, 1987

The Next Picture Show

In Larry McMurtry’s Texasville, the teenagers from The Last Picture Show await their thirtieth high school reunion amid the hard times in Thalia and, as always, the war between the sexes.

Business |
March 1, 1987

C. W. Post

At first he couldn’t stand the strain of trying to get rich. Then he couldn’t stand the strain of being rich.

Books |
February 1, 1987

The Apple Version

Walt Disney, Howard Johnson, and Margery Post Merriweather have one thing in common: they’re all trapped inside Max Apple’s new novel.

Books |
November 1, 1986

Forty-two Per Cent Potent

In the novel Paradise, Donald Barthelme offers a cereal box of current events and social observations; Laura Furman challenges the dogged ideal of family in Tuxedo Park; Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass is a crash-bang publishing event.

Books |
September 30, 1986

Partners in Crime

David Lindsey stalks Houston cops, through the violence the violence and around the blood, in search of another mystery novel.

Politics & Policy |
September 1, 1986

Texas Primer: Ma Ferguson

She unmasked the Klan and worried about the role of women, but she listened more to her husband than to the suffragettes.

Books |
July 31, 1986

Texas, In Short

The characters in Prize Stories and South by Southwest often dwell on the past while living out their lives in an anxious present.

Reporter |
June 30, 1986

Texas Monthly Reporter

Wild mustangs roam home; attorney race to Houston’s bankruptcy court; UT students get rich.

Critters |
May 31, 1986

Texas Primer: The Fire Ant

Baby Calves, children, even the agriculture commissioner: no one is safe from this tiny deamon.

Books |
May 31, 1986

Nine Days of Solitude

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is more than just journalistic ghostwriting; I the Supreme is robbed of its punch; Bird of Life, Bird of Death peeks behind Central America’s dictators and dominoes.

Books |
April 30, 1986

Southern Discomfort

Bobby Jack Nelson—roughneck, cowhand, prospector, and Australian talk show host—is also a fine novelist; Larry L. King writes about writing.

Reporter |
May 31, 1985

Texas Monthly Reporter

Austin’s infamous Iguana; Lucas’ latest story; San Antonio’s dedicated Dodgers; Tascosa’s secretive spirits.

Hunting & Fishing |
March 1, 1985

Bring ’Em Back Alive

In darkest South Texas roam two of the world’s most endangered species—the black rhino and the Great White Hunter.

Parks & Recs |
January 1, 1985

A Grand Canyon

In 1541 Coronado and his troops stumbled upon a huge canyon in the midst of grassy plains and gazed upon it with awe. Journeying down into Palo Duro Canyon on mules 443 years later, I began to understand why.

News & Politics |
May 1, 1984

Out of Action

He was an aggressive cop with one of the toughest beats in Dallas. But after fourteen years and another killing, the department took him off the street and slapped him behind a desk.

Sports |
January 1, 1984

Gambling on the Gamblers

Jerry Argovitz made himself unpopular with NFL management as an abrasive player’s agent. Now that he owns Houston’s new football team, he finds himself on the other side of the table—and the issues.

Sports |
September 1, 1983

Passing the Bucks

Football recruiting makes the NCAA see red, but SMU sees orange.

Books |
June 30, 1983

A Knell for Eric

An Abilene man recalls the pluck and pain of his stricken son in This Is the Child. An El Paso professor creates a lovably uncool detective in Dancing Bear. An Austin meteorologist blows hot on Texas Weather.

True Crime |
March 1, 1983

Blood of the Lamb

A high school teacher shot up the First Baptist Church in the East Texas steel town of Daingerfield, and the agony lasted longer than anyone could have imagined.

Books |
February 1, 1983

As Good as Her Word

Texas women write about crop dusters and frozen custard and the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport in the encouraging new anthology Her Work. Life Sentences, though, is a flimsy feminist exercise.

Sports |
December 1, 1982

Coach Royal Regrets

Does Texas’ greatest college coach miss football? Nope.

Sports |
November 1, 1981

Running Dogs

Four hundred Texans breed and train an uncommon kind of livestock—greyhounds.

Sports |
October 1, 1981

Throw It to Me!

Drew Pearson, Tony Hill, and Butch Johnson are wide receivers for the Dallas Cowboys—in other words, they’re artists, egomaniacs, fierce competitors, and the heart of the team.

Travel & Outdoors |
June 1, 1981

The Coyote Wars

The stake is survival—for either the sheep and goat ranchers of West Texas or the smartest predator of all.

Great Outdoors |
June 30, 1980

Falls Alarm

The Guadalupe River is beautiful, inviting, and treacherous.

Sports |
December 25, 1979

The Real Mean Green

Talk to coaches and team owners about AstroTurf and you’ll hear all its advantages. Talk to the players and you’ll hear a different story.

Cityview |
May 31, 1979

An Ill Wind

April is the cruelest month, and tornado-struck Wichita Falls knows why.

Politics & Policy |
March 1, 1979

Have Guns, Will Travel

Do you want a rare antique muzzle-loader or a holdup pistol that can’t be traced? You can find them both at a gun show.

Feature |
May 31, 1978

Little Bruisers

Fighters from all over Texas slug it out in the Golden Gloves; for most, that’s the only gold they’ll ever see.

Music |
December 1, 1976

Who Killed Redneck Rock?

Love beads are out at rock concerts these days.

True Crime |
August 31, 1976

Busting Out of Mexico

Two self-styled Texas soldiers of fortune engineered one of the more bizarre jailbreaks in history. Here’s how it happened.

Sports |
April 1, 1976

The Horseman and His Apocalypse

People bring their gangly quarter horse colts to Bubba Werner to transform into winners. Now and again, he does.

Politics & Policy |
April 30, 1974

Dustin’ Off The Stetson

It takes slant-heeled boots and a strong jaw to campaign in West Texas; a Ph.D. probably doesn’t help.

News & Politics |
April 30, 1973

Briar Patch

THE GETAWAY THAT DIDN’T LASTON A COOL EVENING IN late spring, Mark Jones and Francisco Perez entered Joseph’s Foodliner, a small market in northwest San Antonio specializing in homemade egg rolls (4 for a dollar) and fresh Chinese snow peas. Young, longhaired, bearded, they had apparently charted an ambitious career

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