April 2010 Issue

Features

Crime

The Lost Girls

Every year thousands of women are smuggled into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of them end up in Houston, in massage parlors and spas. Most of them will have a hard time ever getting out.

Selena

Dreaming of Her

On March 31, 1995, South Texas came to a standstill as the shocking news spread that the hugely popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez had been shot and killed in Corpus Christi. Fifteen years later, the people who knew Selena best recall the life and devastating death of a star

Head Case

Depending on your point of view, the firing of Mike Leach, Texas Tech’s controversial football coach, was about the state of football (the sport has gone soft), concussions (they are a potentially life-threatening condition), or celebrity meddling (Craig James was a helicopter dad). But is it possible that Leach has

Consider the Oyster

If you’re a half shell fanatic like me, you’ll be just as alarmed as I was to hear that oystermen in Galveston Bay—the source of some of the country’s most delicious mollusks —are still struggling to make it after Hurricane Ike.

Web

Soñando con Ella

Era una chica del barrio cuya voz la hizo acreedora de un Grammy, vendió millones de álbumes y la convirtió en una sensación como ninguna otra. Y cuando fue asesinada, el 31 de marzo de 1995, la estrella de la música tejana Selena Quintanilla Pérez pareció llevarse consigo las aspiraciones

Miscellany

Fotos y Recuerdos

This past year marked an important, though largely unnoticed, milestone for fans of Selena Quintanilla Perez, the hugely popular Tejano singer who died at 23 on March 31, 1995: She has now lived in our memories for longer than she performed professionally. She was 9 years old when she started

Roar of the Crowd

Office Talk

Your “Perry for President?!?” cover sent me to the phone to schedule a stress test. The last Texas governor to ascend to the White House left a scar on our great state that will always be a painful reminder of big business’s influence on our democratic process. To even suggest

Reporter

Artist Interview

Will Sheff

The creative force behind Austin’s Okkervil River has taken on a new role as record producer of True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti-), the first studio album from 13th Floor Elevators front man and psychedelic rock pioneer Roky Erickson in fourteen years. The 62-year-old Erickson has had a

Music Review

Hippies

You’ve heard it before: the thin, reverb-heavy recording; the erratic tempos; the thundering floor toms; the disaffected vocals buried under trebly, ham-fisted guitar chords. Harlem, an Austin trio by way of Tucson, worships at the altar of garage rock, and at first listen, there doesn’t seem to be much

Music Review

Let the Light In

Over time, a musician’s career can take unexpected turns. Many artists peak early and stagnate, while others suddenly find their footing and make that leap from something good to something special. When this happens, the performer often seems as surprised as the audience. The past couple albums from Austin singer-songwriter

Author Interview

Charles Bowden

Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields offers a brutally frank snapshot of the descent of this major metropolis—just across the Rio Grande from downtown El Paso—into virtually unchecked bloodshed. Bowden, an acclaimed author and journalist, resides in Tucson and is a contributing editor for

Book Review

Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter, the debut from Dallas novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda, is a story born of two young couples in the year 1984. From the Indian farming village of Dahanu, the teenage Kavita Merchant carries her newborn daughter, Usha, to a Bombay orphanage to save her from near-certain death

Book Review

Newspaper Blackout

Austin Kleon is quick to acknowledge that, far from inventing the poem-creating technique he uses in Newspaper Blackout—taking an indelible marker to the New York Times and blacking out text until new meaning emerges from the remaining words—he is cribbing a style of writing probably invented 250 years

Ghassan “Gus” Karim, Tailor

Karim, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1969, has been a master tailor for fifty years. He is the owner of Gassane Tailors, in Austin, and has made custom suits for Bill Clements, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush.My father was a tailor and had a big shop in

How to Snap the Perfect Bluebonnet Photo

No mantel in Texas is complete without a bluebonnet photograph. But as any amateur roadside shutterbug will tell you, it’s notoriously difficult to capture the stately flower on film. The bloom’s vibrant colors look washed-out; the petal’s delicate details are lost in a blur. “The flowers are small,” says

Columns

Letter From Austin

Fear Less

Can new research predict which soldiers will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—and which won’t?

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