Naked City

A Texas Holler

Dagoberto Gilb
Dagoberto Gilb

The book section of this Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle will feature an essay, "Un Grito de Tejas" (A Cry from Texas) by Austin writer Dagoberto Gilb, on "what it's like to be a Mexican-American writer these days." "Naked City" has seen a draft of the "diez y seis de septiembre piece," in which Gilb recounts the now-legendary tale of his recent dust-up with the editors at Texas Monthly over a piece he wrote for the magazine. "I even screamed [at an editor]," Gilb recalls, "how I should be paid for doing exactly what I said I would and exactly what he said he wanted."

Gilb's article -- "Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes: A Mexican-American Man Visits Mexico" -- never made it into the Monthly. Instead: "And what I wrote that the Texas Monthly couldn't accept, I sold to la Harper's magazine. Those east coast fulanos loved it just as I wrote it, and published it (June 2001) without editing or advice whatever."

Asked about Gilb's recollections, Monthly editor Evan Smith told us, "I appreciate the free publicity for the magazine, even though my version of events is completely different from Dagoberto's version of the events. I take great pride in any writer from the great state of Texas getting published, anywhere."

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