NewSouth authors Rod Davis and Gerald Duff join an illustrious list of writers — including Cormac McCarthy, J. Frank Dobie, Larry McMurtry, and Shirley Ann Grau — with their induction into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters last month. They were among seven whose contributions as writers were recognized at the Texas Institute of Letters annual meeting and awards ceremony on April 6.
Rod Davis is author of Corina’s Way (NewSouth, 2003), winner of the PEN Southwest inaugural Award for Fiction, as well as other works including American Voudou. His next novel, South, America, is forthcoming from NewSouth Books. Mr. Davis is a longtime magazine editor and writer, formerly at The Texas Observer and D Magazine. An eighth-generation Texan, Rod Davis lives in College Station.
“It was a great honor to become part of an organization with a long history of representing such a distinguished group of writers, whose works reach far beyond the Texas border,” said Davis. He continued, “I think sometimes the state’s literary presence is lost in some of the other distractions, from politics to sports. But, really, those who tell the stories of the many different kinds of people and cultures in Texas have always been a powerful and critical force.”
Gerald Duff’s Fire Ants and Other Stories (NewSouth Books, 2007), was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction. NewSouth also published his novel Coasters (2001), and his recent short ebook essay Fugitive Days (2012). At the induction ceremony, Mr. Duff read a selection from his recent novel Blue Sabine, which had been earlier in the month named by the Philosophical Society of Texas the best work of fiction published in 2012. Gerald Duff is a native of the Texas Gulf Coast.
Mr. Duff offered some thoughts on his induction, offering that “an old saying declares that a prophet is without honor in his own country. I can’t claim the status of prophet, but as a writer I’m much gratified to be recognized in my home state with my induction into the Texas Institute of Letters. Especially gratified given the many oddball characters and situations I’ve created and set in the Lone Star state. Thanks, Texas, for not taking these personally!”