Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Six Texas books that aren't about cowboys

René Steinke’s most recent novel is Friendswood (Riverhead). She is the author of Holy Skirts (a National Book Award Finalist) and The Fires. She is the Director of the MFA Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Editor-at-Large at The Literary Review. She lives in Brooklyn.

One of Steinke’s top six Texas books that aren't about cowboys, as shared at The Huffington Post:
Katherine Anne Porter, Noon Wine

Small South Texas Farm, 1896-1905. Beware of Swede strangers looking for work. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, farm owners barely scraping by, take in Mr. Helton, who plays the same song again and again on his harmonica, but seems nice enough and he's an excellent worker, even if he's quiet and a little rude. The family comes to like the harmonica playing, or not even hear it anymore they hear it so often, and because of Mr. Helton's hard work, they prosper enough to buy an icebox. Only when an unpleasant stranger, fat and leering, comes looking for Mr. Helton, is there trouble. One of Porter's great, short novels, Noon Wine investigates the psychology of rural Texas tribalism.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue