The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jane Gilmore Rushing - Lou Halsell Rodenberger

Jane Gilmore Rushing: A West Texas Writer and Her Work

By Lou Halsell Rodenberger. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2006. xiii, 175 pages, classified bibliography, index. 7 b/w photos ISBN 0896725936. Hardback, wheat colored cloth with elegant blank lettering on the spine. $29.95

The jacket carries a Rushing quotation, “The land of West Texas encompasses more than climate and landscape; it’s a breed of people, a style of life, a way of freeing and extending the mind and imagination.”

The title to chapter 2, “A Regionalist Without Apology,” tells much to the reader, and Lou Halsell Rodenberger, professor emerita at McMurray University in Abilene is the one to tell this story well. Rodenberger’s purpose “in this work is to convince readers that an unbiased study of Jane Gilmore Rushing’s fiction leads to the discovery of a courageous writer, whose angle of vision on West Texas’ past is consistently from the point of view of women.” From the now vanished Texas hamlet of Pyron, Rodenberger traces Rushing’s life with particular literary criticism on her writings (six novels between 1963 and 1984, non-fiction books, and other). Rushing often wrote of the reality of people, often good people, caught in the contradictions of life, the hypocrisy, out of step with the norm or the often unacknowledged norms of women’s lives. Throughout, the Rolling Plains under-gird the stories where friends, neighbors, and strangers express their religion and work, courage and cowardice, romance and cruelty and murder, and hopes and fears in a dynamic relationship with the codes of conduct. Rushing may bring to mind Dorothy Scarborough and Katherine Ann Porter. This reviewer may add this West Texas writer to his list of “Revolting Texas Women Novelists.”

Wouldn’t you, as did Rushing, love to see Halle Berry and a red-headed cowboy in a movie adaptation of Mary Dove?

No comments: