THE TEXAS STORIES OF NELSON ALGREN
Larry McMurtry once wrote that Nelson Algren held the best literary claim to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, though few people realize that "the poet of the Chicago slums" ever lived or wrote here. Yet it was in Depression-era Texas that Algren developed his instinctive need to speak for the powerless--a need that made him one of the foremost chroniclers of the American outcast. The Texas that Algren understood was a world where impoverished people lived among simmering yet casual violence, a world where the law--racist, abusive, and corrupt--ruled with an utter ruthlessness and power. The Texas Stories vividly re-creates this now-vanished world. The collection includes "So Help Me," winner of a 1935 O'Henry Award; "The Last Carousel," which won the 1972 Playboy Fiction Award; and the early "Thundermug," a piece that was censored when it appeared in the radical Windsor Quarterly in 1935. Here too is Algren's unique retelling of the legend of Bonnie and Clyde. Including work from more than four decades, The Texas Stories provides a much-needed overview of Algren's artistic development. It will be enthusiastically welcomed by Algren fans, Texans, literary scholars, Western historians, and many others.