March | April 2015 Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe

My Beautiful City AustinMy Beautiful City Austin

By David Heymann

Waxing nostalgic about how Austin used to be has become something of an art form, and David Heymann takes it to new heights in this short story collection. In his debut work of fiction, the UT architecture professor gently mocks the city’s paradoxes and growing pains through the eyes of an idealistic young architect tasked with building tacky McMansions. “Austin had naively existed in my mind as an antidote to the overstuffed burrito-ness of America,” laments the narrator, who is dismayed to realize he’s partially to blame for the rapid growth of the city.


Train to Crystal CityThe Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II

By Jan Jarboe Russell, BJ ’72

The internment of immigrant families during World War II remains one of the darkest chapters in American history, and it’s too often glossed over. Thousands of Americans of Japanese, German, and Italian descent were imprisoned in the Crystal City Alien Enemy Detention Facility from 1943-48. Worse still, hundreds of them were sent to Japan and Germany in exchange for American prisoners of war. Russell illuminates these dark days through the real-life stories of two women who lived in Crystal City in their teens.


Into the Field (1)Into the Field: A Foreign Correspondent’s Notebook

By Tracy Dahlby

Many a young journalism student has dreamed of a career reporting from exotic locales, but the reality can be far less romantic. In this memoir from UT Press, UT journalism professor and longtime foreign correspondent Tracy Dahlby shares colorful stories from his work in Asia for National Geographic. Readers with an interest in travel journalism or the recent history of China, Japan, and Southeast Asia will be especially riveted.


9780142180679_ScandalsofCl-CVF.inddScandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama From the Golden Age of American Cinema

By Anne Helen Petersen, PhD ’11

Radio-Television-Film alumna Anne Helen Petersen, an academic turned pop culture writer, reminds us that celebrity gossip is nothing new in this fun, lighthearted look at scandals from the annals of film history. Stars like Humphrey Bogart, Mae West, Clark Gable, and Lauren Bacall may not have been subjected to Twitter gossip, but fans obsessed over their personal lives and their PR missteps with an obsessive scrutiny that will be familiar to any TMZ devotee.


Ghost HorseGhost Horse

By Thomas H. McNeely

A former Dobie Paisano fellow at UT who now teaches at Emerson College, Thomas McNeely takes readers to 1970s Houston in this dark debut novel. The book is centered on an 11-year-old boy named Buddy Turner, who joins with two other kids to film a Super-8 movie. Buddy’s imagination is his only savior in a troubled world full of adults behaving badly, school bullies, and ever-changing social and cultural expectations.


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