Literary Texas: John Graves

Texas State University in San Marcos owns an interesting item, for an institution of higher learning, that is. It is an old, maple canoe paddle and is highly valued there. "The paddle, part of the university's Wittliff Collections of papers and artifacts from Southwestern literature, was used by John Graves on a trip down the … Continue reading Literary Texas: John Graves

Literary Texas: Larry McMurtry, Part 2

The main building of McMurtry's famous bookstore Booked Up. Who would think that Larry McMurtry’s world and that of Chip Gaines’ (former star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper) would ever collide? But as of December 2022, it has. More about that later. Larry McMurtry left Houston and Texas in 1969. By this time, he had published … Continue reading Literary Texas: Larry McMurtry, Part 2

Literary Texas: Larry McMurtry

Archer City's "Last Picture Show." I have a confession to make as I write this piece. I have read only one book by Larry McMurtry and that a nonfiction book titled Paradise. I cannot now find the book (a common problem for me) nor can I remember it well. I did, however, see the movie … Continue reading Literary Texas: Larry McMurtry

Literary Texas: Robert E. Howard

Robert E. Howard, another rural, small-town Texan born around the turn of the twentieth century, made a lasting mark on the fiction world. He was, though, quite different from both the high church architect of literary fiction Katherine Anne Porter and the son-of-the-Texas-soil Fred Gipson despite this fact of time and space, a space that … Continue reading Literary Texas: Robert E. Howard

Literary Texas: Fred Gipson, Part 2

Fred Gipson (1908-1973) published his most famous work Old Yeller in 1956. A prolific author of short stories, fiction and non-fiction books, articles, and movie scripts, he was born in the ruggedly beautiful Texas Hill Country. It was a place he loved and could never leave for long. When, after its publication in 1956, Walt … Continue reading Literary Texas: Fred Gipson, Part 2

Literary Texas: Katherine Anne Porter, Part 2

Chiseled on a plain, pale gray tombstone in a country graveyard in Texas are the words “IN MY END IS MY BEGINNING.” The phrase lies below the outline of a simple cross, the name KATHERINE ANNE PORTER, and the dates May 15, 1890, and September 1980. This granite marker stands beside a darker but smaller … Continue reading Literary Texas: Katherine Anne Porter, Part 2


For a woman whose famed writing career took her to live in such places as Chicago, New York, Denver, Mexico, and much of Europe, and who rubbed elbows with the likes of Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, Frida Kahlo, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Robert Penn Warren, it is a shock to find Katherine Anne Porter’s … Continue reading Literary Texas: KATHERINE ANNE PORTER