Best New Book About Houston - 2011
Literary Houston, edited by David Theis
If you have anything more than a passing interest in the history and/or soul of Houston, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book. Former Press staff writer (and occasional theater critic) David Theis has done yeoman's work in rounding up this anthology of writings about Houston, ranging from Cabeza de Vaca's accounts of miserable wanderings here through the first Anglo settlement and on down, to the boom/bust years of the late 20th century and Houston's inauspicious entry into the 21st, with an excerpt from Mimi Swartz and Sharron Watkins's account of the Enron meltdown. It's not all nonfiction, either: Theis also features fiction and poetry from natives like Donald Barthelme and Vassar Miller and temporary Houstonians such as Larry McMurtry and Mary Gaitskill. Until now, these writings have been as scattered as the city that inspired them. No more. Theis has slapped together much of the best into one 2.4-pound package.