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Left to right: Sara Bird, Elizabeth Crook, and Stephen Harrigan. PHOTO via TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

STAFF REPORT

Three Texas Hill Country writers will speak about their craft this Thursday at Texas State’s Alkek Library in San Marcos.

Thursday’s public reception, discussion, and Q&A will be at the library’s Wittliff Collections and feature writers Sarah Bird, Elizabeth Crook, and Stephen Harrigan. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a public reception, the discussion will start at 7 p.m, and a Q&A and book signing with all three authors will follow. Their books will be available at the event.

The event will be free and open to the public. Organizers of the event ask that prospective attendees RSVP via email at southwesternwriters@txstate.edu.

“We’re excited about bringing these three important Texas writers to the Wittliff, all of whom have archives in the collections,” said Wittliff curator Steve Davis. “Once again we’re presenting a ‘discussion’ format, which we find really opens up the conversation, and with such talents and longtime friends as Sarah Bird, Elizabeth Crook, and Stephen Harrigan, the audience is guaranteed a very memorable evening.”

Crook will moderate the discussion. Bird and Harrigan had novels recently published by Knopf. Harrigan’s Remember Ben Clayton arrived in May and Bird’s The Gap Year was published in July.

Called a “seasoned Texan social satirist” by Publishers Weekly, Sarah Bird is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist noted for mingling intelligent wit, genuine tenderness, and absurdity. Bird’s first published novel was a mystery called Do Evil Cheerfully. Her 1986 comic novel The Alamo House is based on her experiences as a graduate student at the University of Texas. Bird was praised more recently for The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy. Bird wrote a column for Texas Monthly and her articles have appeared in national magazines including Cosmopolitan, O, and Salon.

Crook, primarily a fiction writer, authored a lengthy article for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly based on research she later used again for her first best-selling book, The Raven’s Bride: A Novel of Eliza Allen and Sam Houston.

According to Bill Moyers, Crook “brought to life the great events of Texas past and turned them into a robust novel…. From start to finish she had me.”
Crook’s Raven’s Bride was honored as the 2006 “Texas Reads: One Book One Texas” selection. Crook’s second novel, Promised Lands: A Novel of Texas Rebellion, is an intimate portrait of the Texas Revolution. Crook’s most recent novel, The Night Journal, was awarded the 2007 Spur Award for Best Long Novel of the West, and it received the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction.

Harrigan’s articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Audubon, Life, American History, National Geographic, Slate, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire. Harrigan was a staff writer and senior editor at Texas Monthly for years. In addition to works of journalism, Harrigan authored two non-fiction books, several teleplays and screenplays, and the novels Challenger Park, Aransas, Jacob’s Well, and The Gates of the Alamo. The Gates of the Alamo became a New York Times bestseller and Challenger Park. Remember Ben Clayton, his newest novel published by Knopf this past May, was praised by Booklist as “a stunning work of art” and by The Wall Street Journal as a “poignantly human monument to our history.”

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