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Folktales from the Helotes Settlement

Folktales from the Helotes Settlement

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Date: December 2014
Creator: Igo, John
Description: The Texas Folklore Society has been publishing a regular volume of folklore research (our PTFS series) for the past several decades. Most of these books are what we call miscellanies, compilations of the works of multiple folklorists, and they feature articles on many types of lore. We’ve also published over twenty “Extra Books,” which are single-author manuscripts that examine a more focused topic. Folktales from the Helotes Settlement by John Igo is Extra Book #25. It’s a collection of personal memories from our longest active member, who first joined the Society over fifty years ago. Here we find legends, customs, and beliefs of the people of the Helotes Settlement near San Antonio. These stories capture the lore of a place similar to lots of other places—our places. They’re familiar to us all because, when we get right down to it, the Helotes Settlement is not very different from wherever we’re from.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Short Call: Snippets from the Smallest Places in Texas, 1935-2000

Short Call: Snippets from the Smallest Places in Texas, 1935-2000

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Date: December 2014
Creator: Roach, Joyce Gibson
Description: The Texas Folklore Society has been publishing a regular volume of folklore research (our PTFS series) for the past several decades. Most of these books are what we call miscellanies, compilations of the works of multiple folklorists, and they feature articles on many types of lore. We've also published over twenty "Extra Books," which are single-author manuscripts that examine a more focused topic. Short Call: Snippets from the Smallest Places in Texas, 1935-2000 by Joyce Gibson Roach, is TFS Extra Book #24. Joyce Gibson Roach has collected “snippets” of stories, recipes, and traditions of life in Turtle, Texas, which represents many small towns—and the people who inhabit them. Many of the younger generations leave such towns, finding both place and society crumbling. Those who've stayed are finding new and interesting ways to put themselves and their places back together. Both the short and long pieces herein are about the folks who've elected to stay generation after generation, knowing that for them wherever they’ve stayed is still the Home Place. The characters' viewpoints are personal, sometimes agreeing with facts found in history books and sometimes not.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Upshaws of County Line: An American Family

The Upshaws of County Line: An American Family

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Date: November 2014
Creator: Orton, Richard S.; Sitton, Thad & Flukinger, Roy
Description: Guss, Felix, and Jim Upshaw founded the community of County Line in the 1870s in northwest Nacogdoches County, in deep East Texas. As with hundreds of other relatively autonomous black communities created at that time, the Upshaws sought a safe place to raise their children and create a livelihood during Reconstruction and Jim Crow Texas. In the late 1980s photographer Richard Orton visited County Line for the first time and became aware of a world he did not know existed as a white man. He went down the rabbit hole, so to speak, and met some remarkable people there who changed his life. The more than 50 duotone photographs and text convey the contemporary experience of growing up in a "freedom colony." Covering a period of twenty-five years, photographer Richard Orton juxtaposes his images with text from people who grew up in and have remained connected to their birthplace. Thad Sitton's foreword sets the community in historical context and Roy Flukinger points out the beauty of the documentary photographs. This book should appeal to anyone interested in American or Texas history, particularly the history of African Americans in the South in the aftermath of the Civil War. The book should ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Year of Perfect Happiness

The Year of Perfect Happiness

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Date: November 2014
Creator: Adnot-Haynes, Becky
Description: The sharp-witted stories in Becky Adnot-Haynes' debut collection explore the secret lives of people—how they deal with the parts of themselves that they choose not to share with their closest confidants—and with the world. A pole-vaulter practices his sport only before dawn. A recently divorced woman signs up for a hallucinogenic drug excursion in the Arizona desert. An uncertain girlfriend goes out into the world wearing a false pregnancy belly. In The Year of Perfect Happiness, the universe is recognizable but slightly askew, a world whose corners can be peeled back to reveal the strange and often comic outcomes of acting out your most self-destructive desires. It is also a winner ofKatherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction Series.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Goodbye Gluten: Happy Healthy Delicious Eating with a Texas Twist

Goodbye Gluten: Happy Healthy Delicious Eating with a Texas Twist

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Date: October 2014
Creator: Stanford, Kim & Backhaus, William Clyde
Description: There are many gluten-free cookbooks on the market, but none like Goodbye Gluten! Roughly one-third of people in the U.S. are either gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, and for these people, eating gluten can make them sick—very sick. The engaging team of Kim Stanford and Bill Backhaus represents both these audiences, and together they have developed over 200 flavorful and tempting recipes for all types of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Goodbye Gluten is both a cookbook and shopping guide for people who do not want gluten in their diets and are tired of missing out on their favorite foods. In each recipe the authors use everyday brand names that can be found at your local grocery store, which means you no longer have to check labels to decipher if a product is gluten-free. Another appeal of the book is its use of Texas and Tex-Mex flavors to add a kick to what can be bland fare. Goodbye Gluten makes it easy to live the gluten-free lifestyle, because it is not just a diet, but a lifestyle. With 30 color photos of the completed dishes, even the most dedicated bread-lover will want to get into the kitchen and start ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The View From the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

The View From the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

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Date: October 2014
Creator: Smith, Chris
Description: Mel Lewis (1929-1990) was born Melvin Sokoloff to Jewish Russian immigrants in Buffalo, New York. He first picked up his father’s drumsticks at the age of two and at 17 he was a full-time professional musician. The View from the Back of the Band is the first biography of this legendary jazz drummer. For over fifty years, Lewis provided the blueprint for how a drummer could subtly support any musical situation. While he made his name with Stan Kenton and Thad Jones, and with his band at the Village Vanguard, it was the hundreds of recordings that he made as a sideman and his ability to mentor young musicians that truly defined his career. Away from the drums, Lewis's passionate and outspoken personality made him one of jazz music's greatest characters. It is often through Lewis's own anecdotes, as well as many from the musicians who knew him best, that this book traces the career of one of the world’s greatest drummers. Previously unpublished interviews, personal memoirs, photos, musical transcriptions, and a selected discography add to this comprehensive biography.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Bad Company and Burnt Powder: Justice and Injustice in the Old Southwest

Bad Company and Burnt Powder: Justice and Injustice in the Old Southwest

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Date: July 2014
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Description: Bad Company and Burnt Powder is a collection of twelve stories of when things turned "Western" in the nineteenth-century Southwest. Each chapter deals with a different character or episode in the Wild West involving various lawmen, Texas Rangers, outlaws, feudists, vigilantes, lawyers, and judges. Covered herein are the stories of Cal Aten, John Hittson, the Millican boys, Gid Taylor and Jim and Tom Murphy, Alf Rushing, Bob Meldrum and Noah Wilkerson, P. C. Baird, Gus Chenowth, Jim Dunaway, John Kinney, Elbert Hanks and Boyd White, and Eddie Aten. Within these pages the reader will meet a nineteen-year-old Texas Ranger figuratively dying to shoot his gun. He does get to shoot at people, but soon realizes what he thought was a bargain exacted a steep price. Another tale is of an old-school cowman who shut down illicit traffic in stolen livestock that had existed for years on the Llano Estacado. He was tough, salty, and had no quarter for cow-thieves or sympathy for any mealy-mouthed politicians. He cleaned house, maybe not too nicely, but unarguably successful he was. Then there is the tale of an accomplished and unbeaten fugitive, well known and identified for murder of a Texas peace officer. But ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Horrell Wars: Feuding in Texas and New Mexico

The Horrell Wars: Feuding in Texas and New Mexico

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Date: June 2014
Creator: Johnson, David
Description: For decades the Horrell brothers of Lampasas, Texas, have been portrayed as ruthless killers and outlaws, but author David Johnson paints a different picture of these controversial men. The Horrells were ranchers, but some thought that they built their herds by rustling. Their initial confrontation with the State Police at Lampasas in 1873 marked the most disastrous shootout in Reconstruction history. The brothers and loyal friends then fled to New Mexico, where they became entangled in what would later evolve into the violent Lincoln County War. The brothers returned to Texas, where in time they became involved in the Horrell-Higgins War. The family was nearly wiped out following the feud when two of the brothers were killed by a mob. Only one member of the family, Sam, Jr., lived to old age and died of natural causes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012

The Best American Newspaper Narratives of 2012

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Getschow, George
Description: This anthology collects the ten winners of the 2012 Best American Newspaper Narrative Writing Contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The contest honors exemplary narrative work and encourages narrative nonfiction storytelling at newspapers across the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places

Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places

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Date: May 2014
Creator: Olstad, Tyra A.
Description: Although spare, sweeping landscapes may appear “empty,” plains and prairies afford a rich, unique aesthetic experience—one of quiet sunrises and dramatic storms, hidden treasures and abundant wildlife, infinite horizons and omnipresent wind, all worthy of contemplation and celebration. In this series of narratives, photographs, and hand-drawn maps, Tyra Olstad blends scholarly research with first-hand observation to explore topics such as wildness and wilderness, travel and tourism, preservation and conservation, expectations and acceptance, and even dreams and reality in the context of parks, prairies, and wild, open places. In so doing, she invites readers to reconsider the meaning of “emptiness” and ask larger, deeper questions such as: how do people experience the world? How do we shape places and how do places shape us? Above all, what does it mean to experience that exhilarating effect known as Zen of the plains?
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
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