Mixed Notes

Re-joining the ranks of Austin authors is mystery novelist Steven Saylor, who just closed on a home-away-from-home in Travis Heights. Shortly after graduating from UT in 1978, Saylor moved to San Francisco, but he has always maintained close ties to Austin. (He agented his friend Lars Eighner's Travels With Lizbeth, for example.) Known for his series of mysteries set in ancient Rome, in recent years Saylor has spent an increasing amount of time in Austin working on a novel about the Servant Girl Annihilator, a serial murderer who terrorized Austin in the 1880s. Saylor says that "friends here have been remarkably generous, letting me camp at their houses for three to six weeks at a time while I've done my research, but it finally made sense to just buy a second home here. I'll probably still spend most of the year in California, but the ZIP code for my heart is 78704." Tentatively titled Honor the Dead, Saylor's historical thriller will be out from Simon & Schuster in spring 2000...

The HRC has devised a new reading series called Poetry on the Plaza; the idea behind it is to celebrate the birth month of poets whose original work the Ransom Center preserves and exhibits. On October 14, 12:15pm, at the plaza in front of the HRC (21st and Guadalupe), three UT English professors will read from three poets' works: Thomas Whitbread will read e.e. cummings, Betty Sue Flowers will read Sylvia Plath, and Kurt Heinzelman will read Ezra Pound...

FringeWare is sending its bestseller list (hardcover and paperback) to the Village Voice's Voice Literary Supplement each month. It's one of 24 bookstores that contribute their lists to the Supplement, among such company as City Lights Bookstore, Page One in Albuquerque, Posman Books in New York, and Prairie Lights in Iowa City. The latest VLS list places Austin author James Hynes' Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror at number eight on the paperback list...

Time devoted a page last month to the National Poetry Slam, held in Austin in late August. In the article, Deborah Brown Elder recounts her experiences as a member of the Los Angeles Slam team; she's also the 1997 Head-to-Head Haiku champ. The article garnered at least two letters to the editor, one positive, one negative; someone from Fort Worth wrote the latter.


In conjunction with the Turkey City Writer's Workshop being held this weekend, Adventures in Crime and Space (609A West Sixth) hosts this stellar lineup of writers October 9, from 7:30-9pm: Sue Burke, Tom Cool, Lawrence Person, Jessica Riseman, Bruce Sterling, and Don Webb. For workshop info, contact Lawrence Person at

Mayor Kirk Watson, Kinky Friedman, Threadgill's, and the Esther's Follies crew join forces twice on October 18, at 3pm and 7pm, at Esther's Pool, to raise money for the Austin Writers' League. The Kinked-Up Follies is the name of this annual fundraising event; the mayor will bring greetings, Threadgill's will serve food, and Kinky Friedman ... well, no one really knows what he'll do, but it will most likely involve his new book Blast From the Past. (Friedman recently told Cliff Avery, the new editor of AWL's newsletter, Austin Writer, that he's working on "learning to hang upside down from a shower curtain rod... masturbating... and teaching it to teenagers.") Call 499-8914 for tix...

The Michener Center hosts Robert Schenkkan, playwright, screenwriter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author (The Kentucky Cycle) on October 15, at the fourth floor auditorium of the HRC.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002


Readings, Signings, Clay Smith

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