Lone Star Chapters
The Story of Texas Literary Clubs
Texas History - Women's Studies
6.125 x 9.25, 240 pp.
13 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 03/22/2004
Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities
  cloth
Price:        $29.95

978-1-58544-324-6

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Lone Star Chapters

The Story of Texas Literary Clubs

By Betty Holland Wiesepape

As Texas entered the twentieth century, it was opening a new chapter in its cultural and social life, one that would see active efforts to promote not only the appreciation of regional literature but also its creation.

Author Betty H. Wiesepape examines the contributions of literary societies and writers’ clubs to the cultural and literary development that took place in Texas between the close of the frontier and the beginning of World War II. She offers an overview of literary club activity, as well as case studies of four individual writers’ clubs that functioned in the 1920s and 1930s. The first study of its kind, Lone Star Chapters: The Story of Texas Literary Clubs contradicts the common perception that early Texas was a cultural wasteland and illuminates how educated citizens sustained their interests in literary arts by meeting together in locally organized clubs to read, to write, and to criticize members’ original compositions.

The stories of the Manuscript Club of Wichita Falls, the Border Poets of Kingsville, the Panhandle Penwomen of Amarillo, and the Makers of Dallas are based on archival research, personal interviews, and an examination of the literature produced by prominent club members. Each of the stories is set within its own historical and geographical context, and together they illuminate the important role of such clubs in the development of regional arts.

This book is indispensable for students of regional history, women’s literature, and cultural studies.

Betty Holland Wiesepape teaches creative writing along with Southern and Southwestern literature at the University of Texas at Dallas. More than a dozen of her short stories and creative nonfiction compositions have been published, several included in anthologies.

What Readers Are Saying:

“An exceptionally well-researched study of the role of literary clubs in the development of Texas literature in the first half of the twentieth century.”--Tom Pilkington, Tarleton State University

“An exceptionally well-researched study of the role of literary clubs in the development of Texas literature in the first half of the twentieth century.” --Tom Pilkington, Tarleton State University

“Betty Wiesepape fills in a blank page of Texas history with her study of literary clubs. From the Panhandle to South Texas, women (and men) gathered together to read and write. That these produced no major writers is less important than that they existed.” --Don Graham

“Wiesepape’s study is an excellent tool for anyone interested in studying the origins of Texas letters and learning, writing, and reading. Lone Star Chapters marks a worthy addition to any collection of Texana or library concerned with the cultural and literary development of the Southwest. As a history of a previously unrevealed movement in Texas letters, it stands out as a major achievement.” --Texas Books in Review

“Old friends, some only from bylines in publications, leap from the pages.” --The Dallas Morning News

“This book, with its 58 pages of bibliography, notes and index and its dearth of humor and anecdotes, may not be the light reading you’ll take on a weekend getaway, but it is an excellent and well-researched study of organizations that fostered literary development and nurtured Texas’ early writers.” --The Dallas Morning News

“Takes a groundbreaking general look at the state’s literary clubs in the 1920s and 1930s, then studies four writers’ clubs, including the Manuscript Club of Wichita Falls.” --The Dallas Morning News

“This book should be in all Texana literature collections. . . . Well written and thoroughly researched, this study is an excellent tool for anyone interested in studying the origins of Texas letters and learning, writing and reading. . . . As a history of a previously unrevealed movement in Texas letters, it stand out as a major achievement.” --Review of Texas Books

“She convincingly documents the contributions of these clubs to cultural development in the state and to the enhancement of the national reputation of Texas writers.” --The Journal of Southern History

“Wiesepape’s groundbreaking research, however, certainly broadens our understanding of Texas’s literary history.” --Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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