David Bowles on the literature of the borderlands: Our lives are beautiful and startling blends".
David Bowles is a Mexican-American author and member of the Texas Institute of Letters. His thirteenth book, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico, will be coming out in 2018 from Cinco Puntos Press, and he was one of the featured authors at the McAllen Book Festival this past weekend. He spoke with us via email for Sunday’s Lone Star Listens.

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your writing? Did you come from a family of storytellers?


DAVID BOWLES: I mainly grew up the Río Grande Valley, though my father was in the Navy, so we spent a few years in the Low Country of South Carolina. Interestingly, these formative years also mirror my family’s unique blend of ethnic heritage and storytelling traditions: Southern Gothic and Mexican-American leyendas. It’s inarguable that those sensibilities drew me toward storytelling, eventually finding their way into my writing. My dad’s side of the family was rife with storytellers, from my tíos to my father. Chief among them, however, was my grandmother, Marie Garza. I credit her and her dark legends of la llorona, las lechuzas, la mano pachona, etc. with inspiring my love of story … especially lush, creepy, timeless tales.


Was reading encouraged in your family/community? What books did you remember from your childhood?


My dad had been a big reader of pulp magazines, comics, and paperbacks since he was a kid, and my mother gave me arguably the best gift of my lifetime when I was four years old: she taught me how to read. By the time I was in school, I was well ahead of other kids. Librarians took my love of spooky legends and guided me toward adventure, fantasy, science fiction. I still remember being 7 or 8 years old and reading the Doc Savage books, the Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings.  >>READ MORE

Texas's only statewide, weekly calendar of book events
Bookish Texas event highlights  11.12.2017 >> GO this week   Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor


  • Odessa Shakespeare Festival, November 17-18
  • 2017 Wizard World Comic Con Austin, November 17-19

AUSTIN  Mon., Nov. 13  The Long Center, an evening with Annie Leibovitz, who will present a selection of defining works from her newly published Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005 – 2016, 7:30PM

HOUSTON  Mon., Nov. 13 Stude Concert Hall, Inprint’s Margarett Root Brown Reading Series hosts VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizers (in conversation with William Broyles, founder of Texas Monthly), 7:30PM [sold out; live-stream at Houston Public Media]

HOUSTON  Tues., Nov. 14 Brazos Bookstore, Joe Holley and Peter Brown discuss and sign HOMETOWN TEXAS, 7PM

ALSO SIGNING IN DALLAS  Sat., Nov. 18  PDNB Gallery, 6PM

AUSTIN  Wed., Nov. 15 The Long Center, Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen discuss their new book, You Can’t Spell America Without Me, with Evan Smith of The Texas Tribune, 7:30PM

DALLAS  Wed., Nov. 15 SMU - Fondren Library, Presentation of the 2016 Weber-Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America to David Wallace Adams for Three Roads to Magdalena: Coming of Age in a Southwest Borderland, 1890-1990 (followed by a lecture and book signing), 5:30PM

DALLAS Thurs., Nov. 16 First United Methodist Church of Dallas, Arts & Letters Live presents Dan Rather discussing What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism with Krys Boyd of KERA’s "Think," 7:30PM

HOUSTON  Fri., Nov. 17 Brazos Bookstore, James P. McCollom discusses and signs THE LAST SHERIFF IN TEXAS, 7PM

ABILENE  Sat., Nov. 18  Llano Estacado: The Assassination of J.W. Jarrott, a Forgotten Hero, 1PM

EL PASO  Sat., Nov. 18   IEl Paso Public Library - Memorial Park, Tumblewords Project Workshop: "Ripping the Veil: Images, Incantations, and the Creative Writer" with Daniel Chacón, 12:45PM

AUSTIN  Sun., Nov. 19   BookWoman, Poetry a’ Plenty: TORCH Reading Series featuring Natalie Graham, 2PM

A Poetry Reading with Natasha Sajé and Cyrus Cassells, 4PM

News Briefs 11.12.17

Troncoso endows new TIL award for fiction

On his blog this month, El Paso author Sergio Troncoso has announced a new award for Best Work of First Fiction ($1,000).

The Sergio Troncoso Award will be given to a first novel or short-story collection by an author from Texas or writing about Texas. The publication date of the work must be in 2017. The deadline for submission is January 2, 2018.  >>READ MORE


7th Annual Laredo Book Festival set for Dec. 9

The 7th Annual Laredo Book Festival will feature Matt de la Peña, a New York Times bestselling, Newbery Medal–winning author of six young adult novels (Mexican WhiteBoy, The Living and The Hunted) and two picture books (A Nation’s Hope and Last Stop on Market Street).

Sponsored by the Laredo Public Library and the Friends of the Laredo Public Library, the event will take place at the Joe A. Guerra/Laredo Public Library at 1120 E. Calton Road on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  >>READ MORE

 ——­——— A D V E R T I S E M E N T —————

Lone Star Listens compilation available fall 2017, for readers, fans, and writers everywhere

The present generation of Texas authors is the most diverse ever in gender, age, and ethnicity, and in subject matter as well.

Week in, week out, Lone Star Literary has interviewed a range of Texas-related authors with a cross-section of genre and geography. To capture this era in Texas letters, we're pleased to bring you

Lone Star Listens:

Texas Authors on Writing and Publishing

edited by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon; introduction by

Clay Reynolds

Available in trade paper, library hardcover, and ebook Fall 2017

360 pages, with b/w illustrations and index

Featuring novelists, poets, memoirists, editors, and publishers, including:

Rachel  Caine • Chris  Cander • Katherine  Center • Chad S. Conine • Sarah  Cortez • Elizabeth  Crook • Nan  Cuba • Carol  Dawson • Patrick  Dearen • Jim Donovan • Mac Engel • Sanderia  Faye • Carlos Nicolás Flores • Ben Fountain • Jeff  Guinn • Stephen  Harrigan • Cliff  Hudder • Stephen Graham Jones • Kathleen Kent • Joe R. Lansdale • Melissa Lenhardt • Attica Locke • Nikki  Loftin • Thomas  McNeely • Leila  Meacham • John  Pipkin • Joyce Gibson Roach • Antonio  Ruiz-Camacho • Lisa  Sandlin • Donna  Snyder • Mary Helen Specht • Jodi  Thomas • Amanda Eyre Ward • Ann  Weisgarber • Donald Mace Williams

As a collection of insights into the writing and publishing life, the book will be useful in creative writing classes (not just in Texas alone) and other teaching settings, as well as for solo reading and study—and a great Texas reference volume.

  • Examination and review copies will be available fall 2017 in watermarked pdf format.