"An Alabaman by birth, James Ward Lee is well positioned to understand a basic fallacy about Texas's image as a "western" state. Despite popular notions of cowboys, cactus, and wideopen spaces, Lee reminds us that Texas was essentially "southern" for much of its history. Up until the 1950s, cotton far exceeded cattle as a measure of the Texas economy. The literary arts followed in those economic footsteps. While "western" writers such as Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie are now seen as emblematic of the state, Lee argues that "the literary heart and soul of Texas used to be located [in the cotton belt] east of the Brazos.""
Read more at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1165&context=greatplainsquarterly
Finally got a copy of this book, and am halfway through it already. I wish I had had the opportunity to take more classes with Dr. Lee when he was at UNT in Denton! Glad to see that he loved "Tender Mercies" as much as I did, and that he likes James Lee Burke as much as I do.
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