"Fig newtons" of the imagination and of memory abound in this marvelous collection of twenty-two stories by Texas women. "Fig newtons" such as the magical moment when a dying grandmother teaches Sue Ellen to dance, the red shoes Tammy the Tupperware Princess dons in New Orleans, the yellow thread needed to put Sue Tidwell's quilt together, or weekends of escape and sisterhood spent in El Paso's McCoy Hotel. The stories chosen here--and introduced and placed in their historical and literary context by editors Sylvia Ann Grider and Lou Halsell Rodenberger--together weave a story of their own: the story of women's writing in the Lone Star State. From 1865, when a prescient science fiction work was serialized in the Galveston newspaper, until the present, women have written of a different Texas than the stereotypical Wild West of men's writing. Beverly Lowry, Carolyn Osborn, Annette Sanford, Denise Chavez, Katherine Anne Porter, Judy Alter, Joyce Gibson Roach, and others have told a range of stories that capture the range of circumstances, feelings, and experiences Texas women have known and lived. As Susan Wiltshire Ford writes in "The Quilt," "any grief was bearable if you could tell a story about it or make a story out of it." Texas women have borne grief and laughter, hope and memory by telling a story. Let's hear it.
Folklorist Sylvia Grider is an associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University, where she teaches classes in folklore and Texas cultural history. A specialist in material culture, she is currently researching the creation of spontaneous shrines at sites of disaster and catastrophe.Lou Halsell Rodenberger, professor emeritus of English at McMurry University, has written essays and articles on Texas and southwestern women writers. Her most recent book is" Texas Women Writers: ""A"" Tradition of Their Own, " co-edited with Sylvia Grider, and published by Texas A&M University Press. Other works include "Her Work: Stories by Texas Women" and" Jane Gilmore Rushing, " a monograph-length study in the Western Writers Series.
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