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Jan Reid

A Guide to the Jan Reid Papers
Collection 059

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Descriptive Summary

Creator:    Reid, Jan
Title:    Jan Reid Papers
Dates:    1974-1994
Abstract:        Working drafts, photographs, and correspondence make up the papers of journalist and novelist Jan Reid. The collection is arranged into the following two series: Works (1974-1994) and Correspondence (1976-1993, n.d.)
Identification:    Collection 059
Extent:        4 boxes plus 1 oversize folder (3 linear feet)
Language:    Materials are written in English
Repository:    Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos

Biographical Sketch

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 that 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 in 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&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. 

Scope and Content Note

The Jan Reid collection span the years from 1976 to 1988 and includes working drafts, photographs and correspondence relating to Reid's career as a journalist and novelist.  They are arranged according to the following series: Works (1974 - 1994) and Correspondence (1976-1993, n.d.)

Series Description

Series I: 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 II: Correspondence, 1976-1993, n.d.

This series contains annotated correspondence from Shelby Hearon and Ann Richards addressed to Reid dating from 1976-1993 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.    


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Open for research. Photocopying allowed. Mr. Reid holds copyright for most materials, contact staff for assistance in contacting him for permission to publish.
Preferred Citation: Jan Reid Papers, Southwestern Writers Collection, Texas State University-San Marcos.
Acquisition Information: Gifts donated by Jan Reid, 1974-1993.
Processing Information: Processed by Tina Ybarra, 2001. Finding aid revised by Maggie DeBrecht, 2011.
Note to researchers: Additional Jan Reid archives have been received since this on-line inventory was compiled. Contact the archivist for the latest information on our holdings.


Container List

Series I: Works, 1974-1994: Books, 1974-1986

Box    Folder

Map case  
drawer 4    The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock (1974)                 
                  The Austin Chronicle (March 25, 1988)
                  Final corrected galleys
                  Dustjacket production film
                  Dustjacket proofs
                  Photographs by Melinda Wickman
                        Jerry Jeff Walker
                        Michael Murphy
                        Kinky Friedman
                        Steve Fromholz

Deer in Water (1985)

1    1        “False start”
1    2-4        First draft
1   5        Second draft

2    1-3        Second draft-continued
2    4-6        Final edited version
2    7        Reviews

3    1-2    Vain Glory (1986)- typescript, n.d. (working title: “The Lavender Brothers”)

Articles and Stories, 1975-1994, n.d.

3    3    “Postscript: The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock” (1975)
3    4    “The Untimely Death of Redneck Rock” in Texas Monthly (1976)
            “The Grand Canyon” (Palo Duro Canyon) (Texas Monthly 1/1985)
3    5        Research and photographs
3    6        Typescript draft

        Bob Eckhardt (Texas Monthly 5/1994)

3    7        Typescript
3    8        Correspondence
3    9    Larry McMurtry profile (Texas Monthly 2/1993)- typescript draft
3    10    Undated annotated drafts with letter to Stephen Harrigan from Reid describing drafts-
                     “Communion,” “Country Basketball,” “Season’s Greetings,” “Billy the Kid,” “Cages,”
                     “Too Cool”

Series II: Correspondence, 1976-1993, n.d.

4    1    Hearon, Shelby (1976-1979)
4    2    Hearon, Shelby (n.d.)
4    3    Richards, Ann (1993)