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Rick Bragg is coming to BookPeople on Tuesday, December 4, at 7pm, to read from his new memoir, Ava's Man... The last of 2000's spate of historical novels set in Texas is out in paperback: Along with Stephen Harrigan's The Gates of the Alamo (Penguin, $14) and Bud Shrake's The Borderland: A Novel of Texas (Hyperion, $14.95), Steven Saylor's A Twist at the End: A Novel of O. Henry (St. Martin's, $7.50) has just been released. Departing from his established series of mysteries set in ancient Rome, in A Twist at the End Saylor delves into 1885 Austin, when an ax murderer terrorized the city by doing away with eight people in what were likely the first serial murders in America. As in his Roma sub Rosa series, Saylor's talents for unobtrusively weaving the details of his research into the narrative and creating a fascinating protagonist are on display. "An ingenious amalgam of fact and invention. ... Saylor's mystery tracks straight and true from start to finish," we said when A Twist at the End was first published. Saylor's going to follow up A Twist at the End with the May 2002 publication from St. Martin's of A Mist of Prophecies, the next entry in the Roma sub Rosa series, and then with another novel set in Central Texas, but this time it's a contemporary suspense novel set in a small Texas Hill Country town not unlike his hometown of Goldthwaite. It's called Have You Seen Dawn? and Simon & Schuster is slating it for publication in February 2003... Jan Grape used to sell mysteries at her bookstore Mysteries & More; now she's written one. Austin City Blue (Five Star Publications, $23.95) stars Zoe Barrow, a flinty APD officer with all the grit of Britt Montero, Edna Buchanan's heroine sleuth. Zoe shoots a cop killer, presumably with justification, until her higher-ups demand to know why she shot the very person who had earlier shot her husband. Grape will be at Adventures in Crime & Space (609-A W. Sixth) on Saturday, December 1, at 3pm.

Dobie-Paisano Fellowships

The Texas Institute of Letters is accepting applications for the Dobie-Paisano fellowships until January 25, 2002. Every year, the fellowships offer two writers six months in residence at J. Frank Dobie's former 254-acre ranch outside of Austin. At the time of application, one of the following requirements must be met: the applicant must be a native Texan, have lived in Texas at some time for at least two years, or have published writing that has a Texas subject. Information about the fellowships including applicant information and an application that can be filled out and printed can be found on the Web at

To receive information and the application by mail, write: Dobie-Paisano Project, J. Frank Dobie House, 702 East Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78705; phone: 471-8542; fax: 471-9997; or e-mail: UT-Austin co-sponsors the fellowships.

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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


Jan Grape, Austin City Blue, Steven Saylor, A Twist at the End: A Novel of O. Henry, Rick Bragg, Ava's Man

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