October 26, 2021

Top 20 Texas Writers

Top 20 Texas Writers…

Top 20 Texas Writers
Top 20 Texas Writers

Of course, there is a list of top 20 Texas writers; you are looking at it!!!

Many great Texas writers are available. Texas has a remarkable number writers that have made a significant impact on literature and art all over the world in less than two centuries. They include Texas’s top novelists and poets, as well as playwrights and writers from all genres. What Texas authors did your school read? Which ones were you most interested in?

Which writers are most influential in Texas today? This list includes writers from all media, both living and deceased. Maybe Larry McMurtry or Elmer Kelton are your favourite writers. If you like films, Alan Nafzger might be a good choice. This list includes some of the most well-read and popular series in history.

The Texas’s greatest writers are some of the most well-respected in their fields. They have created some of the best short stories, essays, and novels in Texas. While many of these writers have stood the test of time and are well-recognized within the Texas literary canon, it is uncertain whether there will be any new Texas authors for decades.

Larry McMurtry Texas essayist, novelist, bookseller, screenwriter, born June 3, 1936. His work is primarily set in the United States. Old West or in the present Texas His novels include. His novels include Horseman. Pass By (1962). The Last Picture Show(1966),Terms of Endearment(1975), which were later adapted into 26-minute films. Academy Award Nominations (10 wins). His 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning Novel Lonesome Dove The story was made into a miniseries for television that earned 18 Emmy Award nominations (seven wins) with the three other novels in his Lonesome Dove Series. It was adapted into three additional miniseries and earned eight Emmy nominations. McMurtry, McMurtry’s co-writer Diana Ossana. The screenplay was adapted for Brokeback Mountain (2005) received eight Academy Award nominations and three wins including McMurtry for Best Adapted Screenplay and Ossana. McMurtry is a Texas legend.

Alan Nafzger - Top 20 Texas Writers
Reconquista Cowboy -Top 20 Texas Writers

Alan Nafzger was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1953, the first son of Lorik and Hanna Nafzger (nee Lichti). He graduated of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls in 1976, with a B.A. in History and Political Science. He earned a M.A. from Texas State University in San Marcos Texas. His Ph.D. was from University College Dublin, Ireland’s largest and one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities. He was a long time professor of American Government, a writer with clear libertarian leanings. He shuffled between Matagorda and Windthorst, Texas. His work almost always involved magical realism and were nearly always set in Texas, the Philippines or Russia. Nafzger consistently has been named one of the state’s greatest screenwriters. In 2020, his novel The Reconquista Cowboy won the Open Range Literary Award, the most important award in Texas literature. It is awarded to a writer for their literary oeuvre every March 2nd, Texas Independence Day. Nafzger is almost always on any list of great Texas writers.

James Frank Dobie American folklorist, writer and columnist. He was born September 26, 1888 and died September 18, 1964, Texas during the days of open range. He was a prominent figure who was well-known for his liberal views on Texas state politics. He waged a long personal war against what he considered braggart Texans and religious prejudice. He saved the Texas Longhorn cattle breed from certain death. Dobie is undoubtedly one of Texas’ greatest writers.

Katherine Anne Porter, May 15, 1890 – September 18, 80, 1980 was a Texas journalist and essayist. She also wrote short stories, novels, and was a political activist. Her 1962 novel Ship of Fools was America’s best-selling novel, but her short stories were much more critically acclaimed. Her work is known for its deep insight and dark themes like betrayal, death, and the origins of human evil. Porter is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

Joe R. Lansdale is a Texas author who has written stories and novels in many genres including Western, horror and science fiction. He is also a writer for comics and Batman: The Animated Series. He is the author of 45 novels, 30 short stories collections, and many chapbooks. Many of his novels were adapted for television and film. Lansdale’s novels are often filled with irony, bizarre, or absurd characters. For example, John F. Kennedy and Elvis Presley fighting an Egyptian mummy in a nursing facility (the plot of his Bram Stoker Award nominated novella Bubba Ho–Tep which was made into a film by Don Coscarelli). He has won the British Fantasy Award and the American Horror Award as well as the Edgar Award and ten Bram Stoker Awards.

Dan Jenkins, December 2, 1928 – March 7, 2019, was a Texas sportswriter and author. He worked for several publications, including the Fort Worth Press and Dallas Times Herald. He retired from Sports Illustrated in 1985 and started writing books full time, though he still wrote a monthly column for Golf Digest. Larry King called Jenkins the “quintessential Sports Illustrated writer” as well as “the best American sportswriter.” Jenkins wrote many works and more than 500 articles for Sports Illustrated. Jenkins’ first novel, Semi Tough, was published in 1972.

Blood Meridian novel - top 20 Texas writers
Blood Meridian novel – top Texas writers

Cormac McCarthy (born Charles McCarthy; July 20, 1933) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and post-apocalyptic genres. McCarthy’s fifth novel, Blood Meridian (1985), was on Time magazine’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language books published since 1923. For All the Pretty Horses (1992), he won both the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. His 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and Child of God have also been adapted as motion pictures, while Outer Dark was turned into a 15-minute short. McCarthy won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road (2006). In 2010, The Times ranked The Road first on its list of the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the past 10 years. Literary critic Harold Bloom named McCarthy as one of the four major American novelists of his time, alongside Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and Philip Roth, and called Blood Meridian “the greatest single book since Faulkner‘s As I Lay Dying“.

Richard Russell Riordan Jr. was born June 5, 1964. He is best known for his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series about a twelve year old Percy Jackson discovering he is a son to Poseidon, the Greek God of the Greeks. His books were translated into 42 languages, and more than 30,000,000 copies have been sold in the US. 20th Century Fox has made adaptations of the Percy Jackson books as part of a series. His books have inspired a variety of related media such as graphic novels or short story collections. Big Red Tequila was Riordan’s first novel, and it became the first book of the Tres Navarre Series. The Lightning Thief (2005, his first novel in the Percy Jackson five-volume series) was his breakthrough. It placed a group teenagers in a Greco Roman mythological setting. Riordan has also written The Kane Chronicles trilogy as well as The Heroes of Olympus. The Kane Chronicles (2010-2012) was a series that focused on Egyptian mythology. The Heroes of Olympus was a sequel to the Percy Jackson series. Scholastic Press also developed The 39 Clues series, its spinoffs, and Riordan penned the first book, The Maze of Bones (2008). Three books from the Magnus Chase series and the Gods of Asgard series are his most recent publications. They are based on Norse mythology. The Hidden Oracle, the first book in his The Trials of Apollo series, based on Greek mythology was published in May 2016. Riordan is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

Elmer Stephen Kelton, April 29, 1926 – Aug 22, 2009[] was a Texas journalist and writer. He is best known for his Western novels. Between 1948 and 1963, Kelton was the farm-and-ranch editors for the San Angelo Standard-Times within the Harte-Hanks group. He was editor for five years of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine, and 22 years later he was editor of Livestock Weekly. He retired from that publication in 1990. Sandhills Boy, his memoir, was published in 2007. Reader’s Digest Condensed Books has featured three of his novels. Eight Kelton novels, Buffalo Wagons and The Day the Cowboys Quit are among the recipients of Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America. Peers in WWA also voted him the greatest Western writer ever. The Time It Never Rained and The Good Old Boys were also awarded Western Heritage Awards by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City. The Good Old Boys was made into a Turner Network Television TV movie, The Good Old Boys (1995), starring Tommy Lee Jones. Kelton was awarded the Owen Wister Award in 1977 for lifetime achievement, named after Owen Wister, who wrote The Virginian. The Texas State Legislature declared April 1997 “Elmer Kelton Day”. He was awarded the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities in Wichita Falls’ first Lone Star Award for lifetime achievement in 1998. Kelton was awarded honorary doctorates by Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Kelton was also awarded a lifetime achievement award by the National Cowboy Symposium. A star is placed in his honor at Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth. Kelton is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

James Evetts Haley Sr. (July 5th, 1901 – September 9, 1995), also known as J. Evetts Haley was a Texas-born historian and political activist who wrote numerous works about the American West. He included a biography of Charles Goodnight. Haley believed Goodnight was a man of greatness, and said that Goodnight’s critics were less-than successful people who envy Goodnight for his achievements and bearing. His political views were extreme.

James Albert Michener, February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997, Texas author. He was the father of over 40 books. His stories covered many generations of Texas families and included solid history. Michener was a prolific author with many bestsellers. He also had works chosen for Book of the Month Club. His meticulous research was a hallmark of his books. His novels include Tales of the South Pacific, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1948. His non-fiction books include Iberia about his travels in Spain, Portugal and his memoir The World Is My Home. Sports in America is also among his works. Return to Paradise is a collection of short fiction and Michener’s facts about the Pacific regions where they took place. His first book was later adapted by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and others as South Pacific, a Broadway musical. Later, the film was made into two feature films, one in 1958 and one in 2001. This added to his financial success. In a book titled Presidential Lottery, The Reckless Gamble within Our Electoral System, he also published an analysis of America’s Electoral College system. It was first published in 1969 and republished twice more in 2014 and 2016. Michener is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

Charles William Goyen, April 24, 1915 to August 30, 1983, was an American novelist and short story writer, playwright. He also edited, edited, and taught. These roots would have a profound impact on his life and work throughout his life. He was an officer on an aircraft carrier in South Pacific during World War II, and this is where he started work on The House of Breath, one of his most important books. He published short stories, collections, novels and plays throughout the 1950s and 1960s. His translations were highly respected in Europe, though he never made it big in America. He was unable to support his writing career so he worked as an editor and teacher at many prestigious universities. He once stopped writing fiction for many years. It was a relief to not have to worry so much about it. His major themes include family and home, place, time and sexuality. He also writes about isolation and memory. His writing style is difficult to categorize and he avoided putting labels on his works. He married Doris Roberts in 1963. She is perhaps most well-known for her role in Everybody Loves Raymond. They remained together until his passing in 1983.

John Richard Erickson, born October 20, 1943, is an American cowboy author best known for his Hank the Cowdog children’s novel series. He was born in Midland, Texas and raised in Perryton, Texas Panhandle. In 1966, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He also spent two years at Harvard Divinity School. While he was still a cowboy and ranch manager in Texas, he began publishing short stories in 1967. Hank and Drover were both dogs he had worked with on the ranch. Erickson started Maverick Books in 1982 after being rejected by many large publishers. Hank the Cowdog appeared in The Cattleman. Two related stories were published in The Devil in Texas, the first Maverick Books book. Erickson started selling books from his pickup truck, wherever cowboys were gathering. Soon Erickson began receiving letters from Hank. In 1983, Erickson published the first book in the series, The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. In six weeks, his first printing of 2,000 books sold out. After the book’s success, he recorded it word-for-word on tape shortly thereafter. Hank the Cowdog is now the longest-running children’s audio series. Since then, the book has been spawned more than seventy sequels. It is now one of the most loved children’s fiction series. You can usually find the complete series of books and tapes in all school libraries across the United States. His books have been serialized in The Dallas Morning News for two years and are now endorsed by The Texas Library Association. His “Hank the Cowdog” series has been translated in Persian, Spanish and Danish. They have sold more than 8.5 million copies. Erickson, one of Texas’s greatest writers, has written more than seventy books. He is often invited to perform in schools and libraries, singing and reading selections from his books and performing songs. He lives with his wife in Perryton.

Roy Bedichek was the son of James Madison Bedichek’s parents and Lucretia Ellen Craven. He was born in Cass County Illinois on June 27, 1878. In 1884, the family moved to Falls County in Texas. Bedichek is clearly one of the most important Texas writers. Bedichek was educated at country schools as well as the Bedichek Academy, which his father, Eddy, Texas, established. In February 1898, he enrolled at University of Texas at Austin. His B.S. was awarded in 1903. In 1903, he received his B.S. In 1925, he received his M.A. after returning to work for the University system. He took a leave to write Adventures with a Texas Naturalist in February 1946, at the request of two of his friends Walter Prescott Webb (and J. Frank Dobie). The Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) awarded him the Carr P. Collins Award for best Texas book of that day. His final book was published posthumously. Bedichek is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

Paulette Jiles, also known as Paulette K. Jiles or Paulette Jiles Johnson (born April 4, 1943) is an American poet and memoirist. She moved to San Antonio with Jim Johnson in 1991 after she married the Texan. After many years of traveling, including living in Mexico for several years, they finally settled in San Antonio in 1995. They bought a historic limestone house and spent the next few decades renovating it. Johnson remained there after the couple divorced in 2003. He died on Sept. 20, 2016. Jiles has been living on a 36-acre ranch in Utopia, Texas since 2004, about 80 miles west from San Antonio. She is the mother of three stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

William Lee Brammer, born April 21, 1929, died February 11, 1978. He was an author, journalist, political staffer, and politician in Texas and Washington, D.C. His trilogy of linked novelslas, The Gay Place, is his most well-known work. Brammer was born in Dallas, Texas on April 21, 1929. He graduated from Sunset High School. He attended the University of North Texas, then called North Texas State College. While there, he met and later married Nadine Ellen. Brammer is almost always on any list of great Texas writers. 

Julien Lon Tinkle, born March 20, 1906, died January 11, 1980. He was an author, historian, critic, teacher, and professor who specialized on the history of Texas. Tinkle lived most of his adult life in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Southern Methodist University and taught there later. He became a book critic and editor for the Dallas Morning News in 1942. In 1958, he published Thirteen Days to Glory:The Siege of the Alamo. It was well-received and later made into a movie for television. Tinkle was awarded for his book and for his biography of J. Frank Dobie. He is the Texas Institute of Letters’ lifetime achievement award’s namesake.

Kimberly Willis Holt, born September 9, 1960, is an American author of children’s literature. Her best-known work is the novel When Zachary Beaver Came To Town, which was awarded the U.S. National Book Award in Young People’s Literature 1999. The movie adaptation was made in 2003.

Mary Willis Walker, born May 24, 1942 in Fox Point, Wisconsin, is an American crime fiction writer. Walker studied English at Duke University and then went on to teach high school English. Lee Walker, who was the president of Dell Computers, married Walker in 1967. They lived in New York and Virginia, before moving to Austin, Texas. Their two daughters, Amanda (now divorced), were their first. She lives in Austin. She started writing in her mid-40s, which she described as “pretty late for the start”. Zero at the Bone was her first published thriller. She wrote it for two years. Walker’s second Texas-based mystery, Red Scream was Walker’s first to include sleuth Molly Cates. Red Scream was awarded the 1993 Best Mystery Edgar Award. Walker’s third mystery, Under the Beetle’s Cellar was published in 1995. Mary is one the most important Texas writers.

 

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