Skip to Content

Literary Frontiers: Historical Fiction & the Creative Imagination

The epic sweep of Texas history has inspired classic novels by many of our greatest writers, and the Wittliff Collections showcases the best of this work in its new exhibition, Literary Frontiers: Historical Fiction & the Creative Imagination.

Texas writers have illuminated the human stories at the heart of legends and myths, from the trail driving cowboys in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove to the Indian wars in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Paulette Jiles’ News of the World. The genre also includes the iconic Texas battles for independence in novels by Stephen Harrigan and Elizabeth Crook to stories of the 1900 Galveston hurricane by Ann Weisgarber and Joe R. Lansdale.

Literary Frontiers presents hand-written manuscripts, vintage maps, rare photographs, and artifacts that highlight authors' sources of inspiration and track the creative process. The exhibition also includes artwork such as the original oil painting used as the cover art for the first edition of Lonesome Dove.

Authors featured in Literary Frontiers include Judy Alter, Celeste Bedford Walker, Sarah Bird, Mark Busby, Sandra Cisneros, Elizabeth Crook, Robert Flynn, Jovita González, Stephen Harrigan, Elmer Kelton, Paulette Jiles, Joe R. Lansdale, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Jan Reid, Edwin “Bud” Shrake, Ann Weisgarber, David Marion Wilkinson, Bill Wittliff, and more. The exhibition was curated by Southwestern Literature curator Steve Davis.

Literary Frontiers: Historical Fiction & the Creative Imagination will be on view from August 1 through May 31, 2019.

Here is a full press release on the exhibition.


VIDEO: Literary Frontiers author event held in September of 2018.

Literary Frontiers room