Aware that some may see the title of this volume as an oxymoron, James Ward Lee argues in his ""Argumentative Introduction"" that for more than a century Fort Worth writers have written well about a city too often dismissed as a semi-rural cow town. Writers have celebrated its world of cattle and oil, to be sure, but many have seen other sides of Fort Worth - the country club set, the literati, the artists and artisans, the musicians, the intellectuals, and the whole minority sub-culture that has given a cosmopolitan tone to the Queen City of the Prairies. Fort Worth is in many ways the most typical of Texas cities - proud of its slogan of ""Cowtown and Culture."" People mingle as easily at the new Bass Hall, with its world-class visiting entertainers and the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, as they do at the White Elephant Saloon or the Cowtown Coliseum. They visit a museum complex unrivalled anywhere in the world for a city Fort Worth's size, and they attend the Southwest Exposition and Livestock Show. Lee and Judy Alter, both Fort Worth residents and well-known writers themselves, found passages in novels, short stories, and poetry that caught the city's atmosphere and odd bits of its history. And they found that some of the best writing done about Cowtown is journalistic rather than what is usually considered literary. There are articles by current and former members of the staff of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and one particularly poignant piece about the last day of the old Fort Worth Press. Literary Fort Worth is a literary smorgasbord, with something to appeal to almost any reader's taste. And literary? You bet!
JUDY ALTER is the author of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and young readers, as well as an enthusiastic cook, blogger, and reader of mysteries. She has won awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, Western Writers of America, the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, and an Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement from WWA. Judy was named an Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth in 1989 by the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women (for Arts) and named one of the one hundred women, living and dead, who have left their mark on Texas by the Judy is currently director of Texas Christian University Press in Fort Worth, a position she has held for twenty-two years. A single parent of four and grandmother of seven, she lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her Australian shepherd, Scooby, and her fluffy gray cat, wywy. Judy entertains frequently, always experimenting and looking for new dishes. Keep up with her at www.judys-stew.blogspot.com. Dallas Morning News.