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TCU Press

Website: http://www.prs.tcu.edu/

TCU Press has traditionally published the history and literature of Texas and the American West. As the press has grown steadily in stature and in its ability to bring credit to its parent university over the last twenty years, it has been praised for publishing regional fiction, which often doesn’t find a market in New York, and for discovering and preserving local history.

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TCU Press

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Results 10-19 of 64

Comanche Sundown Cover

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Comanche Sundown

Jan Reid

Comanche Sundown is the story of Quanah Parker and a freed slave named Bose Ikard. Quanah and Bose try to kill each other in a brutal fight on horseback in West Texas. But over time, through the chaos of war they forge a friendship. They change from violent unformed youths into men of courage and decency. In 2011, Comanche Sundown won the Jesse H. Jones Award for fiction from the TIL.

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Comfort and Mirth

Lori Joan Swick

Comfort and Mirth offers a rare glimpse into the capital city of Texas during the years of World War I, the formation of the Texas suffrage movement, the prohibition, and the first round of controversies over the Jim Crow Laws. It traces the growth of Austin from a frontier town to a cosmopolitan southwestern city including such events as the arrival of the first motorcars to the dusty streets Congress Avenue, the opening of the Hancock Opera House, the formation of Elizabet Ney’s sculpture museum in Hyde Park, and the construction, flooding, and reconstruction of the great dam to form the Texas Hill Country lake system. Set early in the twentieth century, this novel traces a young woman’s journey of self-discovery and struggle for self-empowerment. Camille Abernathy leaves her home and widowed mother in Seattle to move to Austin with her worldly new husband who has accepted a position as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas. As she devotes herself to the tasks required to create a home of ease and elegance for her husband and her children, she is drawn into a whirling social circle of professors’ wives and introduced to the world of urban opulence and hypocrisy. Through the letters she writes to her mother, Camille learns to unravel the complexities of her new life by trusting in her natural instincts and relying on her greatest innate strengths—depth of philosophical and spiritual wisdom.

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Crossing Rio Pecos

Patrick Dearen

The Pecos River flows snake-like out of New Mexico and across West Texas before striking the Rio Grande. In frontier Texas, the Pecos was more moat than river—a deadly barrier of quicksand, treacherous currents, and impossibly steep banks. Only at its crossings, with legendary names such as Horsehead and Pontoon, could travelers hope to gain passage. Even if the river proved obliging, Indian raiders and outlaws often did not.

Long after irrigation and dams rendered the river a polluted trickle, Patrick Dearen went seeking out the crossings and the stories behind them. In Crossing Rio Pecos—a follow-up to his Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier—he draws upon years of research to relate the history and folklore of all the crossings—Horsehead, Pontoon, Pope’s, Emigrant, Salt, Spanish Dam, Adobe, “S,” and Lancaster. Meticulously documented, Crossing Rio Pecos emerges as the definitive study of these gateways which were so vital to the opening of the western frontier.

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Dateline Purgatory

Examining the Case that Sentenced Darlie Routier to Death

Kathy Cruz

The brutal murders of young Devon and Damon Routier in the early morning hours of June 6, 1996, put their mother—Darlie Routier—at the heart of one of the most notorious murder cases in modern Texas history—despite her own throat having been slashed to within two millimeters of her carotid artery.

The actions of a small-town police department and those within Dallas County's ruthless justice system created a perfect storm that swept up the young mother and landed her on death row. There she has remained, in a nine-feet-by-six-feet cell, despite claims of her innocence by those who know her, findings about the alarming fallibility of bloodstain analysis, and her husband's admission that at the time of the murders he was soliciting help to stage a home burglary to commit insurance fraud.

In Dateline Purgatory, award-winning journalist Kathy Cruz enlists current-day legal experts to weigh in on the shocking transgressions that resulted in one of the country's most controversial death penalty convictions.
With the help of the infamous death row inmate and a former FBI Special Agent known as “Crimefighter,” Cruz would find that her journey through Purgatory was as much about herself as it was about the woman dubbed “Dallas’s Susan Smith.”

Devils River Cover

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Devils River

Treacherous Twin to the Pecos: 1535-1900

Patrick Dearen

Devils River examines the history of this notorious river in southwestern Texas. Dearen describes the Spanish explorers and settlers from the Americas who encountered the river, their difficulties in traversing the region, and relates hardships, ranging from Indian attacks, impassable fords, unpredictable weather, and long routes with little water.  

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Dictionary of the American West

Win Blevins

Did you ever need to spell “dogie” (as in, get-along-little), or need to know what a “sakey” is? This is the book that can tell you how to spell, pronounce, and define over 5,000 terms relative to the American West.

Want to know what a “breachy” cow is? Turn to page 43 to learn that it’s an adjective used to describe a cow that has a tendency to find her way through fences where she isn’t supposed to be. Describes some teenagers we know…

Spend hours perusing the dictionary at random, or read straight through to give you a flavor of the West from its beginnings to contemporary days. Laced with photographs and maps, the Dictionary of the American West will make you sound like an expert on all things Western, even if you don’t know your dingus from a dinner plate.

Compiled of words brought into English from Native Americans, emigrants, Mormons, Hispanics, migrant workers, loggers, and fur trappers, the dictionary opens up history and culture in an enchanting way. From “Aarigaa!” to “zopilote,” the Dictionary of the American West is a “valuable book, a treasure for any literate American’s library.” (Tony Hillerman)

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Dinosaur Highway

A History of Dinosaur Valley State Park

Laurie Jasinski

Where the Paluxy River now winds through the North Texas Hill Country, the great lizards of prehistory once roamed, leaving their impressive footprints deep in the limy sludge of what would become the earth’s Cretaceous layer. It wouldn’t be until a summer day in 1909, however, when George Adams went splashing along the creekbed, that chance and shifting sediments would reveal these stony traces of an ancient past. Young Adams’s first discovery of dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River Valley, near the small community of Glen Rose, Texas, came more than one hundred million years after the reign of the dinosaurs. During this prehistoric era, herds of lumbering “sauropods” and tri-toed, carnivorous “theropods” made their way along what was then an ancient “dinosaur highway.” Today, their long-ago footsteps are immortalized in the limestone of the riverbed, arousing the curiosity of picnickers and paleontologists alike. Indeed, nearly a century after their first discovery, the “stony oddities” of Somervell County continue to draw Saturday-afternoon tourists, renowned scholars, and dinosaur enthusiasts from across the nation and around the globe. In her careful, and colorful, history of Dinosaur Valley State Park, Jasinski deftly interweaves millennia of geological time with local legend, old photographs, and quirky anecdotes of the people who have called the valley home. Beginning with the valley’s “first visitors”---the dinosaurs---Jasinski traces the area’s history through to the decades of the twentieth century, when new track sites continued to be discovered, and visitors and locals continued to leave their own material imprint upon the changing landscape. The book reaches its culmination in the account of the hard-won battle fought by Somervell residents and officials during the latter decades of the century to secure Dinosaur Valley’s preservation as a state park.

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Dividing Western Waters

Mark Wilmer and Arizona v. California

Jack L. August

The Scopes Monkey Trial, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Brown v the Board of Education, and even subsequent televised high profile murder trials pale in comparison to Arizona v California, argues author Jack August in Dividing Western Waters, August’s look at Arizona’s Herculean legal and political battle for an equitable share of the Colorado River. To this day Arizona v California is still influential.

By the time Mark Wilmer settled in the Salt River Valley in the early 1930s, he realized that four basic commodities made possible civilization in the arid West: land, air, sunshine, and water. For Arizona, the seminal water case, Arizona v California, the longest Supreme Court case in American history (1952–1963), constituted an important step in the construction of the Central Arizona Project (CAP), a plan crucial for the development of Arizona’s economic livelihood. The unique qualities of water framed Wilmer’s role in the history of the arid Southwest and defined his towering professional career. Wilmer’s analysis of the Supreme Court case caused him to change legal tactics and, in so doing, he changed the course of the history of the American West.

Echoes of Glory Cover

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Echoes of Glory

Robert Flynn

ROBERT FLYNN is a native of Chillicothe, Texas, a town so small, he says, that one has to travel to nearby Quanah to have a coincidence. Flynn avers that his life’s work is “The Search for Morals, Ethics, and Religion, or at least a good story in Texas and lesser known parts of the world,” and his novels, North to Yesterday, In the House of the Lord, The Sounds of Rescue, The Signs of Hope, Wanderer Springs, The Last Klick, The Devil’s Tiger (co-authored with the late Dan Klepper), and Tie-Fast Country, attest to that fact. He lives in San Antonio with his wife, Jean.

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Elmer Kelton

Essays and Memories

Judy Alter and James Ward Lee

Elmer Kelton was a modest, kind man, always willing to advise a struggling writer or write a blurb for a first time published author, or assign publishing rights to his six masterpieces to a small university press. TCU Press is grateful for Kelton's work, and this volume attempts to explore what it is that made Elmer Kelton its leading author.

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