Graham, Don B(allew) 1940-
GRAHAM, Don B(allew) 1940-
PERSONAL: Born January 30, 1940, in Lucas, TX; son of Willie (a merchant) and Myrtle Joyce (a clerk; maiden name, Ballew) Graham; married Lois Volpone (divorced); married Betsy Anne Berry (a writer), June 14, 1991. Education: North Texas State University, B.A., 1962, M.A. (summa cum laude), 1964; University of Texas, Ph.D., 1971. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, writing.
ADDRESSES: Home—8704 Mariscal Canyon Dr., Austin, TX 78759-7154. Office—Department of English, University of Texas, Parlin Hall, Rm. 108, 1 University Station B5000, Austin, TX 78712-1164. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, instructor in English, 1965-69; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, assistant professor of English, 1971-76; University of Texas at Austin, professor, 1976-85, J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English literature, 1985—. Texas Institute of Letters, former president.
MEMBER: Modern Language Association, Texas Institute of Letters.
AWARDS, HONORS: Austin Writers League award for best nonfiction book, 1998; Spurs Teaching Award, 2001.
The Fiction of Frank Norris: The Aesthetic Context, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1978.
(Editor, with William T. Pilkington) Western Movies, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 1979.
(Editor) Critical Essays on Frank Norris, G. K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1980.
Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas, Texas Monthly (Austin, TX), 1983.
(Editor, with James W. Lee and William T. Pilkington) The Texas Literary Tradition: Fiction, Folklore, History, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas Press (College Station, TX), 1983.
Texas: A Literary Portrait (criticism), Corona (San Antonio, TX), 1985.
(Editor) South by Southwest: Twenty-four Stories from Modern Texas, University of Texas Press (College Station, TX), 1986.
Giant Country: Essays on Texas, TCU Press (Ft. Worth, TX), 1998.
Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire, Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2003.
Contributor and writer-at-large for Texas Monthly.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Dick and Jane in France, a travel book.
SIDELIGHTS: Don B. Graham, a professor of English, has written a number of books relating to the people and literature of his native Texas. One book that has gained particular critical notice is his No Name on the Bullet: A Biography of Audie Murphy. Murphy, a Texas native who died in a 1971 plane crash, was a World War II army hero, the most highly decorated soldier in American history, who later became a B-movie actor. He wrote a book about his experiences called To Hell and Back, which was made into a movie in which he also starred. His private life, however, included two divorces, gambling debts, and psychological ailments that are now recognized as the symptoms of posttraumatic stress from the war. Graham, according to critics, writes about Murphy with sympathy and skill in what Leah Rozen described in People as a "first-rate biography. Graham does justice to Murphy's war heroics," the reviewer maintained. The author also reveals how Murphy's years after the war "were an increasingly sad 'postscript to battle.'"
Graham has written on many other Texas themes, including its literature, its lifestyle, and how it is portrayed in Hollywood films. His Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire, for example, is a six-generation saga about the family who established Texas's largest ranch, covering hundreds of thousands of acres. The story ends as, like so many other ranches in Texas, the land is taken over by a corporate entity. Library Journal contributor Charlie Cowling called the book "an easy-to-read popular narrative … [that is] highly recommended for Southwestern libraries." Graham has also edited an anthology of Texas authors, Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande, a collection that Pam Kingsbury described in Library Journal as "by turns, humorous, grandiose, larger than life, and touching." In addition, Graham, a movie aficionado, has focused on Hollywood's perception of Texas and Texans in his 1983 book, Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American History Illustrated, January-February, 1991, review of No Name on the Bullet: A Biography of Audie Murphy, p. 8.
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, winter, 1985, Douglas Gomery, review of Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas, pp. 101-103.
Library Journal, May 15, 1989, John Smothers, review of No Name on the Bullet, p. 74; March 1, 2003, Charlie Cowling, review of Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire, p. 103; September 1, 2003, Pam Kingsbury, review of Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande, p. 166.
New York, July 31, 1989, Rhoda Koenig, review of No Name on the Bullet, p. 64.
New York Times Book Review, September 10, 1989, Gib Johnson, review of No Name on the Bullet, p. 27.
People, September 25, 1989, Leah Rozen, review of No Name on the Bullet, p. 29.
Publishers Weekly, May 9, 1986, John Mutter, review of South by Southwest: Twenty-four Stories from Modern Texas, p. 251; June 2, 1989, review of No Name on the Bullet, p. 76.
Don B. Graham Web site, http://www.en.utexas.edu/faculty/dgraham/ (November 24, 2003).*