Edwin "Bud" Shrake is one of the most intriguing literary talents to emerge from Texas. He has written vividly in fiction and nonfiction about everything from the early days of the Texas Republic to the making of the atomic bomb. His real gift has been to capture the Texas Zeitgeist. Legendary Harper's Magazine editor Willie Morris called Shrake's essay "Land of the Permanent Wave" one of the two best pieces Morris ever published during his tenure at the magazine. High praise, indeed, when one considers that Norman Mailer and Seymour Hersh were just two of the luminaries featured at Harper's during Morris's reign.
This anthology is the first to present and explore Shrake's writing completely, including his journalism, fiction, and film work, both published and previously unpublished. The collection makes innovative use of his personal papers and letters to explore the connections between his journalism and his novels, between his life and his art. An exceptional behind-the-scenes look at his life, Land of the Permanent Wave reveals and reveres the life and calling of a writer whose legacy continues to influence and engage readers and writers nearly fifty years into his career.
Edwin "Bud" Shrake has worked as a journalist for Sports Illustrated, written several filmed screenplays, and is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Blessed McGill, Strange Peaches, and Billy Boy. He is also the co-author of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the best-selling sports book of all time. Shrake's newest novel is Custer's Brother's Horse.
Steven L. Davis is the Assistant Curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University-San Marcos.
Land of the Permanent Wave offers a vibrant look at American and Texas culture through the eyes of one of the most remarkable writers the state has produced. Edwin “Bud” Shrake seems to have packed about six lifetimes worth of living into one, and he writes about his experiences with intelligence, wit, and skill.
Foreword (Larry L. King)
Introduction (Steven L. Davis)
Part 1: Strange Peaches in the "Land of the Permanent Wave"
Is He Edwin, or Is He Bud?
Cops Eat Kid's Pet
Priest Taunted at Mansfield
Letter: April 10, 1963, from the Navel of Mother Europe
Jason and the Oui Oui Club (from But Not for Love)
The Land of the Permanent Wave
John Lee Wallace, Reporting from Dallas (from Strange Peaches)
There Will Be Chickens
The Hunts of Dallas
Visit to Big Earl's (from Strange Peaches)
Letter: August 7, 1969, on Dallas
The Kennedy Motorcade (from Strange Peaches)
No Day for Games
Part 2: From New York to Chihuahua
Letter: February 2, 1966, to NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle
Letters from New York, 1964-1966
The Once-Forbidding Land
Gerhardt's Farm (from Blessed McGill)
Matthew Caldwell in Houston City (from The Borderland)
Letter: May 29, 1965, on Writing Blessed McGill
Letter: September 8, 1966, on Visiting Chihuahua
The Tarahumaras: A Lonely Tribe of Long-Distance Runners
Letter: October 4, 1967, on the Publication of Blessed McGill
Going into Chihuahua (from Blessed McGill)
Part 3: Mad Dogs and Outlaws
The Best-Kept Secret in America (from Willie: An Autobiography)
The Screwing Up of Austin
Letter: December 16, 1969, on Mad Dog, Inc.
The Regenerator Erection Laboratory (from Peter Arbiter)
Letter: August 1, 1969, from Zihuatanejo
Scenes from Kid Blue ("Dime Box")
Letter: November 4, 1973, on Larry Mahan
Horsing Around with Bull
Rafting the Big Bend
Part 4: Night Never Falls
Letters to Larry L. King, 1978-1983
Scene from "Pancho Villa and Ambrose Bierce"
Scenes from "The Big Mamoo"
The Angels of Dien Bien Phu (from Night Never Falls)
Letter: March 8, 1988, to LLK, on Being "Sodbuster Two"
Backstories: Sodbusters One and Two
Letter: February 12, 1998, to LLK, on Getting Older
Showdown at the Colonial (from Billy Boy)
From Custer's Brother's Horse
How to Live Forever
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