Notes From Texas
On Writing in the Lone Star State
Publication Year: 2013
Jameson has compiled an assorted collection of fourteen essays by some of the most prominent Texas writers through which he hopes to explore the following questions: “How did they accomplish their goals? Why did they choose the writing life? What influence did the history, lore, and culture of Texas play in their creative process?” While readily citing the “decidedly Texas flavor” in his own fiction, Jameson seeks to uncover the inspirations in other writers from both the expansive and rugged Texas terrain as well as the varied people therein.
The fourteen writers who comprise Notes from Texas range from the captivating and often humorous essayist Larry L. King to the beloved historical novelist Elmer Kelton. Other contributors include James Ward Lee, known for his expertise in Texas cuisine and culture, and poet and songwriter Red Steagall. This collection bestows each with a “chance to express what they wished to share about their art and their life as a Texas writer.”
Published by: TCU Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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CON T E N T S
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I N T ROD U C T ION
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GROWING UP inWestTexasyieldedoneadventureafteranother.IstillrememberstandingonthenorthbankoftheRioGrandeandstaringsouthwardinto...
J U D Y A L T E R
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JUDY ALTER istheauthorofnearlysixtybooks,fictionand nonfiction for both adults and young readers. Herlatest books for children are John Barclay Armstrong:IHAVE LONG envied native Texans. Elmer Kelton, JoyceRoach,BobFlynn,FranVick,andothersspeakalanguageIcanonlyimitate.JoyceRoachoncesaidsomethingtome“Just wait till we get to Texas, Judith, it will all change.” Ireaction was “That’s really unusual, because after all, thiswriting. I’d feel lost, without an anchor. I’d wake up in the...
R O B E R T F L Y N N
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ROBERT FLYNN isanativeofChillicothe,Texas,atownsosmall,hesays,thatonehastotraveltonearbyQuanah to have a coincidence. According to Flynn,Eugene O’Neill’s play, Long Day’s Journey into Night. Johnremain biblically illiterate. Literal is to truth what fact is to...
D O N G R A H A M
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DON GRAHAM graduated from North Texas StateUniversitywithaBAandMAandtookadoctorateattheUniversityofTexasinAustinwherehecurrentlyTHE DAY Ilearnedtowritemyname,inthefirstgrade,Iwroteitalloverthewindowsillandwallatthebackoftheone-roomschoolhousewhereeightgrades,oneper“Realism,” I couldn’t understand what all the fuss over the...
ROL A N DO H I NOJOS A - SMI T H
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ROLANDO HINOJOSA-SMITH serves as the EllenClaytonGarwoodProfessorintheEnglishdepartmentat the University of Texas at Austin. Aside from hisICOME FROM afamilyofreaders;myparentsreadtoeachother and, as the youngest of five, I also saw my olderbrothers and sisters reading individually or as a group.Spanish by learning the alphabet; it wasn’t difficult. I was aple, others not so; some indifferent, shallow, self-sacrificing,calls for an explanation. I don’t have an agent, and I don’t...
P A U L E T T E J I L E S
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PAULETTE JILES was born in Salem, Missouri, andgraduatedfromtheUniversityofMissouriwithaBAinRomanceLanguages.Sheistheauthorofthebestsell-ILIVE ON A HILLTOP intheTexasHillCountry,andinall directions I can see for several miles. From the frontporchIlookeastintothevalleyoftheSabinalRiverandthe...
E L M E R K E L T O N
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ELMER KELTON ofSanAngelo,Texas,istheauthorofmorethanfortywesternandhistoricalnovels,primarilysetintheLoneStarState.AnativeofCrane,Texas,heIWAS NOT SUPPOSED tobecomeawriter.Iwassupposedtobeacowboy.However,neithernaturenortraininggavemetheskillsnecessarytoearnanhonestlivinginthesaddle,the “cowboy’s Wall Street Journal.” I found that I enjoyed...
L A R R Y L . K I N G
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LARRY L.KING grewupinPutnam,Texas.Heiswrit-inghisfifteenthbook, Safe at Home: Life in World WarII America. Heisalsotheauthororco-authorofsevenWHEN I WAS eightyearsoldin1935,Itoldallinthe vicinity of Putnam, Texas, who would listenthatIintendedtobecomearichFamousArthur,...
J A M E S WA R D L E E
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JAMES WARD LEEisemeritusprofessorofEnglishandaformerdepartmentchairattheUniversityofNorthTexas.BorninLeeds,Alabama,heisagraduateofMiddleTennesseeStateUniversityIAM NOT SURE the Matthew Arnold quotation reallyapplies,butit’showIfeelwhenIsetouttotalkaboutmywriting.ItseemsthatIamindeedwanderingbetweentwo...
J AME S R E A SON E R
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APROFESSIONAL WRITER for thirty years, JamesReasonerhaswrittenmorethan200novels,includingmysteries,historicals,andwesterns.HisworkhasbeenTHE IMPACT of Texas on my writing starts with thefact that I was born and raised here and have neverlivedanywhereelse,norwantedtoliveanywhereelse.ing about places I’ve been, streets I’ve walked, sights I’ve...
C L AY R E Y NOL D S
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NATIVE TEXAN ClayReynoldsistheauthorofmorethan800publicationsrangingfromcriticalstudiestoshortfiction,nonfiction,poems,essays,reviews,andUNREMARKABLY, I was born in a small town inTexas.Itwasfairlytypicalofhundredsofothersmalltowns in Texas during the “boom years” followingacross America in those days of “I Like Ike” and idyllic fic-reader’s obligation to admire that revelation, and that’s nota sharpness of wit is easy; it’s the other part that’s hard. It...
JOYCE GIBSON ROACH
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JOYCE GIBSON ROACH holdsBFAandMAdegreesinEnglishfromTCUwhereshewasadjunctprofessorfrom1984to1997specializinginthewesternnovelandlitera-I’M FROM Jacksboro,Texas,andhavenevergottenoverit—andI’mnottrying.Iwearthatcornyphrasearoundmyneck like an albatross, and, like the ancient mariner, amone with a ‘name’ we’d take it in a minute. But you’re ancover on it, and it’s still in print—at a time when the worldpro ranks. Writers, scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs, even...
R E D S T E AG A L L
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RED STEAGALL isanauthor,songwriter,poet,record-ing artist, and radio personality. For over forty years,Steagallhasentertainedaroundtheglobe.In2006,heIGREW UP inanidyllicsettingforaboywhowasandiscrazyaboutthehistoryofthecowboysandIndians. Thelittle town of Sanford, Texas, lies about one-half mile...
C A R L T O N S T OW E R S
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AMONG THE MORE thantwodozenbooksauthoredbyCarltonStowersareTo the Last BreathandCarelessWhispers, both winners of the Mystery Writers ofSOME YEARS AGO I read a quote from famed TexasnovelistLarryMcMurtryinwhichheboldlydescribedhimselfasaMinorRegionalNovelist,evenposinginapipe-smoking easterner viewed it as “too regional,” I’d bebetter craftsmen than I’ll ever be: bestselling novelists likeTexas is brim-full of serial killers and millionaires, brilliant...
F R A N C E S B R A N N E N V I C K
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FRAN VICK is the retired director and co-founder ofthe University of North Texas Press and founder andpresidentofE-HeartPress,Inc.SheholdsBAandMAIKNOW THIS WILL comeasashocktothoseofyouwhohaveheardmespeakwithmyEastTexastwang,butIamterribly provincial. It is embarrassing to be so provincial,...
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Page Count: 250
Illustrations: 15 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013