Jan Reid

Acclaimed writer Jan Reid is our guest this week. His latest book is Sins of the Younger Sons (Texas Christian University Press, June 7, 2017). 

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 Jan Reid is a journalist, biographer, and novelist with thirteen books to his credit and scores of magazine articles and essays published over a forty-year career.  The Texas Institute of Letters recently awarded him the career achievement award.

Jan’s latest book is the historical novel, Sins of the Younger Sons (Texas Christian University Press, June 7, 2017). 

As a journalist, Jan’s work has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Slate, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, and the New York Times. He is a former senior editor at Texas Monthly. His first piece for the magazine appeared in its third issue in 1973, and he went on to have more than 50 major stories and features grace its pages and cover through the years. An early article about Texas music spawned his first book, the iconic, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock.

Jan’s biography of former Texas governor and friend, Ann Richards entitled, Let the People In (University of Texas Press, 2012) received strong reviews from publications including the Washington Post, Economist, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as awards from the Texas State Historical Association and the Philosophical Society of Texas. His novel, Comanche Sundown (Texas Christian University Press, 2010) received the Texas Institute of Letters’ best fiction award.

Jan’s other books include Deerinwater  (Ballantine Books, 1998), for which he won a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship;  Close Calls, (Texas A&M Press, 2000) a collection of his magazine pieces that was a finalist for a Texas Institute of Letters book of the year award; Rio Grande (University of Texas, 2004); and The Bullet Meant for Me (University of Texas Press 2005), a reflection on marriage, friendship, boxing, and his physical and emotional recovery from a deadly shooting in Mexico.

Jan was born in Abilene, Texas and grew up in Wichita Falls. After graduating from Midwestern University, he earned a master’s degree in American studies at the University of Texas. He lives in Austin with his beautiful wife, Dorothy Browne.

In Praise of Sins of the Younger Sons (TCU Press, June 7, 2017)

“If Graham Greene or Robert Stone had turned their literary talents toward the Basque separatist struggle in Spain, the result would be much like Jan Reid’s outstanding novel, Sins of the Younger Sons.” —Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross and The White League

Page by page, ‘Sins of the Younger Sons’ invites the reader to dwell for a while within its unique world, to suffer and celebrate with its unforgettable characters. It’s a trip that, if taken, is well worth the effort.” —Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News

“At once history – both cultural and political – and sensual love story, it reaches beyond the genre to make for a magical and profound reading experience.” —Beverly Lowry, author of Who Killed These Girls? and Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life

About Sins of the Younger Sons

      Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga.  Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish Empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch. Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country.  Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land.  From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France.  Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. 

    Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turnTexas Christian University Press

For more information, please visit JanReid.com. You can also keep up with him on Facebook.