A Guide to the Jan Reid Papers, 1974-1993
Writer Jan Reid was born on March 18, 1945, in Abilene, Texas. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1964-1970. He received his BA from Midwestern University in 1968 and then went on to receive his MA from the University of Texas in 1972. Reid began to write for the Mt. Pleasant Tribune and soon after quit to seek another job as the sports editor for the New Braunfels Herald in 1972. His break came in 1973 when an editor at Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine suggested he contact a publication which was just getting started in Austin. Texas Monthly needed young, hungry contributing writers. Along with Stephen Harrigan, Shelby Hearon, Prudence Mackintosh and a few others, Reid joined on the ground floor in 1973 and became one of the upstart publication's first writers. He wrote countless stories for Texas Monthly and soon after became a contributing editor for the magazine. In 1974 Reid published The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock which tells the story of "the movement that changed the face of traditional country music. It traces the development of the exuberant music community in Austin, Texas, from its formative years in the early sixties up to the flourishing activities of the present." "Like many Americans of my generation, I had fantasized my share of guarded moments over the turn my life would have taken had I been one of those lucky fellows with guitars slung like machine guns on their hips, mowing the audiences down."
He also started up Look Away Books, a small publishing company. After many years as a journalist and novelist, Reid met with one of his most serious challenges. While visiting Mexico, along with three friends, on April 20, 1998 he was shot by two robbers. Soon after Reid began to write a book, The Bullet Meant for Me, about his ordeal, describing how the shooting left him a paraplegic and his subsequent struggle to regain as much physical control of his body as possible.
Texas A and M University Press recently published Close calls: Jan Reid's Texas, a collection of some of Reid's best-loved magazine pieces. Also, the March 2001 issue of Texas Monthly included a story, by Reid, about legendary Texas author Billy Lee Brammer and The Gay Place, Brammer's equally legendary novel about politics.
The Jan Reid collection span the years from 1976 to 1988 and include working drafts, photographs and correspondence relating to Reid's career as a journalist and novelist. They are arranged according to the following series: 1. Works (1994 - 1994), and 2. Correspondence (1976-1993, n.d.)
Series 1: Works, 1974-1994
This series contains examples of the writing and book production process including drafts, rewrites, galley proofs, dust jackets, reviews and photographs for three of Reid's published books: The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, Deer in water, and Vain Glory. The bulk of these materials relate to Deer In Water.
Subseries A: Books, 1974-1986 This subseries contains drafts, galley proofs, and dustjackets for books by Jan Reid. Material is arranged in chronological order by date of publication.
Subseries B: Articles and stories, 1975-1994 This subseries covers Reid's contributions to Texas Monthly and other publications. This file contains articles and stories on various subjects which include the Grand Canyon, Bob Eckhardt and Larry McMurtry. The subseries contains research, photographs, drafts and correspondence relating to his subjects. Material is arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Also included here are eight undated annotated drafts gathered together by Reid for the PEN-newspaper competition and the Paisano stories none of which were ever submitted.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1976-1993, n.d.
This series contains annotated correspondence from Shelby Hearon and Ann Richards addressed to Reid dating from 1976-1979 as well as one letter from Jeff Guinn addressed to Shelby Hearon. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order, and describes writing projects, personal matters, and a thank you note from Ann Richards.
Open for Research. Photocopying allowed. Mr. Reid holds copyright for most materials, contact staff for assistance in contacting him for permission to publish.
Jan Reid Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection/Texas State University-San Marcos.
Gifts donated by Jan Reid, 1974-1993.
Processed by Tina Ybarra, 2001.
The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Heidelberg Publishers, 1974; Deer in Water : a Novel. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press, 1985; Vain Glory. Fredericksburg, TX: Shearer Publishers, 1986; Close Calls : Jan Reid’s Texas. College Station: Texas A and M University Press, 2000; The Bullet Meant for Me : a Memoir. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.
Detailed Description of the Collection