SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Southwest Texas State University’s Southwestern Writers Collection and Texas Monthly magazine celebrate the 40th anniversary of a classic Texas novel, Billy Lee Brammer’s The Gay Place, with a special program at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, on the 7th floor of SWT’s Albert B. Alkek library.
Brammer was arguably Texas’ first “modern” novelist, writing with a breezy sophistication that recalled the golden jazz era as much as it anticipated the cultural transformation that later erupted in the Sixties. Brammer worked as an aide to Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, and his book has been widely hailed as the best portrait ever written of LBJ’s personality. At the same time, Brammer captured the essence of life in Austin in the 1950s, and his success as a novelist inspired a whole generation of Texas writers who followed. Brammer, who served as a reporter for the Austin Statesman (now Austin American-Statesman) and TIME magazine as well as editor of the Texas Observer, died in February of 1978.
The program at the Southwestern Writers Collection features a talk by Jan Reid, whose profile of Brammer, Return to The Gay Place, appears in the March issue of Texas Monthly. Also featured are a series of dramatic scene readings staged by Sidney and Shelby Brammer and friends.
The Southwestern Writers Collection is a major archival repository focusing on the literature, film and music of the Southwest. The collection is located adjacent to the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography on the campus of SWT. The collection is housed on the top floor of the library. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (until 9 p.m. Tuesdays), 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 2-6 p.m. Sundays. Parking is available at the LBJ Student Center parking garage. For more information call 512-245-2313 or visit the website at www.library.txstate.edu/swwc