That Texas Tone In Literature

Texas writers on the Lone Star State of mind and Texas identity now.

Attendees to the 2013 Texas Book Festival gather for a session in the Texas State Capitol chambers in Austin, TX. (Courtesy Texas Book Festival)

Attendees to the 2013 Texas Book Festival gather for a session in the Texas State Capitol chambers in Austin, TX. (Courtesy Texas Book Festival)

Texas-born Lonesome Dove writer Larry McMurtry is out with his 46th book, “The Last Kind Words Saloon.”  It opens in Texas with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.  Old Wild West.  But Texas is moving on.  With writers who see the past and taste the future.  Who write the present – of new oil boom and poverty side by side.  Of immigration and fraught borderlands.  Of thirst and drought and cattle country gone urban.  Today we’ll talk with three:  Sarah Bird, Sergio Troncoso, Philipp Meyer.  About larger-than-life and real-life Texas.  This hour On Point:  Texas writers, Texas issues, now.

— Tom Ashbrook


Clay Smith, editor in chief at Kirkus Media.

Sarah Bird, novelist and author of “Above the East China Sea,” “Virgin of the Rodeo” and many other books. (@sarahbirdwriter)

Sergio Troncoso, novelist and author of “Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence,” “From This Wicked Patch of Dust” and other books. (@SergioTroncoso)

Philipp Meyer, novelist and author of “The Son,” “American Rust” and many other books.

From Tom’s Reading List

NBC News: Quakes Rattle Confidence in Texas Energy Boom — “It  wasn’t the semi-trucks rumbling down country roads, or the dust, or the natural gas wells that popped up around their homes that finally got to residents of Azle and Reno, Texas. It was the earthquakes. These weren’t major quakes, magnitude 3.6 was the biggest, but no one in those North Texas towns had ever felt tremors before. Now in just three months, between last November and January, 34 quakes large enough to be felt shook homes, cracked walls and foundations, scared horses and pets, and opened a few sinkholes.”

New York Times: For Wendy Davis, Filibuster Goes Only So Far in Race to Be Governor of Texas — “A year after her filibuster pumped her up into the kind of galvanizing candidate Texas Democrats have not had for decades, she seems very much dragged down to earth, dwarfed by the perception that Democrats’ chances of ending the Republican domination of Texas remain slim.”

Texas Tribune: 5th Circuit Opinion Favors Water Suppliers — “State and local water planning agencies in Texas and across the drought-stricken West were handed a narrow victory by federal judges on Monday, vindicating their decisions to supply more water to cities and industries at the potential expense of endangered wildlife.”

A Few Suggestions on Reading Texas

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