A new exhibit in SMU’s DeGolyer Library offers samples of Texas fiction spanning 175 years, since before the state became a republic.
“From Live Boys to Lonesome Dove: A Panoramic View of Texas Fiction, 1836- 2011″ begins with a few works that predate Texas Independence, such as L’Heroine du Texas; ou, Voyage de Madame *** aux Etats-Unis et au Mexique. From this fictional account of the French utopian colony at Champ d’Asile, the exhibit proceeds through the antebellum period, the age of the dime novel, local color, romanticism, realism, “westerns,” and the contemporary scene.
DeGolyer promises numerous surprises, such as the first novel printed in Fort Worth, Jo: A Telegraphic Tale (1885), and Mamie Winn’s A Love Story of Mineral Wells, the first (and possibly the last) novel printed in Mineral Wells, 1915.
With more than 200 books on display, from high-brow to low-brow, the exhibition also offers visitors the opportunity to place the work of writers with some measure of literary acclaim (for example, Katherine Anne Porter, William Humphrey, William Goyen, Larry McMurtry, and many others) in historical context.
The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, continues through Dec. 15, 2011. DeGolyer is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, except holidays.