Since the publication of his haunting, elegiac Goodbye to a River in 1960, John Graves has become one of Texas' most beloved writers, whose circle of loyal readers extends far beyond the borders of his home state. A "regional" writer only by virtue of his gift for vividly evoking the spirit of the land and its people, Mr. Graves is also admired for the unerring craftsmanship of his prose.
Now the University of Texas Press takes great pleasure in publishing A John Graves Reader to introduce his writing to a new generation of readers. This anthology contains selections from Goodbye to a River and his two other major books, Hard Scrabble (1974) and From a Limestone Ledge (1980). It also includes short stories and essays, some of which have never been published before and others that Mr. Graves has reworked especially for this book.
All of the pieces in this anthology were chosen by Mr. Graves himself to be, in his words, "representative of my writing, for better or worse." They reflect various stages of his life and writing career—youth in Texas, World War II, sojourns in New York, Mexico, and Europe during the 1940s and 1950s, and his final return to Texas as home and as subject matter—as well as recurring themes in his writing, from the land and the people to fishing, traveling, and the enduring friendships that have enriched his life.
For those who have never read John Graves, this anthology will be the perfect introduction to the range and excellence of his work. At the same time, those who have read him faithfully for many years will find new pieces to enjoy, as well as old favorites to savor once again.