ALL THE LAND TO HOLD US is an apt title whose protagonist is the land – and it is a strange and powerful land. The harsh desert environment of West Texas is extremely arid, bitter and bleak. This environment shapes much of the novel’s character and the characters’ characters. The area receives much less rainfall than the rest of Texas and the temperature has been known to hit 120ºF in the summer. “An easterner, after making the stage trip and experiencing the danger of Horsehead and the Trans-Pecos country, wrote to friends back home that he now knew where hell was.” The setting also includes Castle Gap and Juan Cordoba Lake, an inland salt lake.

December 23, 2013 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Literary, Texas, US Southwest, Wild West


I’ve often thought that being famous must be a horrible burden. There would be the fun bits, of course, but there’s a definite downside: the psycho fans, the paparazzi, and the fact that every little thing you do could potentially end up on the cover of National Enquirer. But perhaps what’s even worse than being famous is tasting fame and then fading into complete obscurity.

Rick Bass’s novel Nashville Chrome is a fictionalized account of the Browns: Maxine. Jim Ed, and Bonnie. At the height of their fame, this singing trio was second only to Elvis, and even the Beatles shared a few jam sessions with their idols. Have you ever heard of the Browns? I hadn’t, and I’ll admit that I was some way into the novel before it dawned on me that this is a story of very real and very forgotten people.

September 16, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History