Skip to Content

Authors of the SWWC Book Series

A John Graves Reader  By John Graves (1996)


What do an Emmy Award, a map of Ho Chi Minh city, and several well-used typewriters have in common? They all are part of the current exhibit at the Southwestern Writers Collection in the Albert B. Alkek at Texas State University-San Marcos. The Collection is celebrating the successful first year of the Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series published by the University of Texas Press.

The books in the series are generated by the Southwestern Writers Collection, a major archive that collects and preserves the finest artistic representations of the American Southwest. To date five books have been published: A John Graves Reader by John Graves, Just as We Were: A Narrow Slice of Texas Womanhood by Prudence Mackintosh, Brothers in Arms: A Journey from War to Peace by William Broyles, Jr., True Facts, Tall Tales, and Pure Fiction by Larry L. King, and Blessed McGill by Edwin (Bud) Shrake.

A John Graves Reader, which inaugurated the series last Fall, is a collection of essays and short stories written during the long and distinguished career of this revered Texas writer. Graves is best known for Goodbye to a River, an account of his canoe journey down the Brazos River shortly before a series of dams changed the river forever. The Southwestern Writers Collection houses papers, artifacts, correspondence, research materials, and photographs spanning John Graves' entire writing career.

A selection of Prudence Mackintosh's favorite columns for Texas Monthly are collected in Just as We Were: A Narrow Slice of Texas Womanhood. Mackintosh writes tellingly and movingly about the lives of upper-middle class Texas women, and in the process reveals some of the universal truths that unite us all. Mackintosh's work is part of the completeTexas Monthly archives, which were donated to the Collection by the magazine in 1994.

Texas Monthly's founding editor, William Broyles, Jr. is also a major donor to the Southwestern Writers Collection. Broyles' highly-acclaimed Vietnam memoir, Brothers in Arms: A Journey from War to Peace, was first published in 1986 by Knopf. Broyles has also received much recognition as the creator of the successful television series "China Beach," and the co-writer of the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for "Apollo 13." The Broyles archive includes extensive materials from all of his literary, television, and film projects. The Brothers in Arms exhibit displays several interesting items from the Broyles collection, including a map of Ho Chi Minh city he obtained during his return journey to Vietnam in 1984.

Journalist, essayist, playwright and raconteur Larry L. King is best-known for his Broadway smash "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." King has received many honors during his writing career, including an Emmy Award for his television documentary on the Texas Legislature. King is another major donor to the Southwestern Writers Collection, and his extensive archive includes, among other things, over 16,000 pieces of correspondence from the 1960s to the present. Former curator Richard Holland is currently editing a book of King's letters for publication in the Southwestern Writers Collection Series. True Facts, Tall Tales, and Pure Fiction is a selection from King's more recent writings, and it demonstrates the enormous range, incisiveness, and good humor of this major voice in Texas letters.

Edwin (Bud) Shrake, a long-time friend of King's, has had a similarly distinguished literary career. Shrake was a columnist for Sports Illustrated in the 1960s when he began writing novels. His work Blessed McGill, originally published in 1968 by Doubleday, is widely considered one of the finest novels ever written on the Southwest. Shrake has since become a successful screenwriter, and he has produced biographies of Willie Nelson and Barry Switzer, as well as the enormously popular Harvey Penick golf books. Shrake's literary papers in the Southwestern Writers Collection include the manuscript material for all of his novels, screenplays, and other works.

"A Celebration of the Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series" appears in conjunction with an exhibit of Keith Carter's photography in the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography. Carter's newest book, Keith Carter: Photographs, Twenty-Five Years inaugurates the Wittliff Gallery Series, which is also published by the University of Texas Press.

Both exhibits will run through December 31st. The Southwestern Writers Collection and Wittliff Gallery are located on the 7th floor of the Albert B. Alkek library at Southwest Texas State University. Hours are 8am- 5pm Monday through Friday. Saturday, 1pm- 5pm. Sunday, 2 pm- 6pm. Call 512-245-3861 for more information.