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#TXBookChat - Setting the Scene: A Discussion on the Life and Literary Legacy of Larry McMurtry

Zooming into focus on Archer City’s Literary Landmark with authors Beverly Lowry and Stephen Harrigan 

Literary Landmarks are special places located across the country that attract tourists, book lovers, and history buffs to educate the public about important literary works and history. With only five previous Literary Landmark sites designated across our great and vast state, in 2021 the Texas Center for the Book (TCFB) launched the Literary Landmarks Roundup to double the number. We sought nominations from libraries, historical associations, Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, museums, and literary societies, among others. The culmination of these efforts reached a crescendo with the latest Literary Landmark installment in Archer City, Texas, for legendary Texas writer Larry McMurtry. Hear from Archer Public Library Director Gretchen Abernathy-Kuck, who applied for the landmark and rallied the town for this distinction. Then meet renowned Texas authors and friends of McMurtry, Beverly Lowry and Stephen Harrigan. This #TXBookChat is your opportunity to hear more about McMurtry’s life and legacy from this amazing group of very special guests.

Headshot Photograph of Gretchen Abernathy-Kuck

Gretchen Abernathy-Kuck accepted her dream job as the director of the Archer Public Library in 2018. With a background in customer service, finance, and bookkeeping, she especially enjoys helping her patrons solve problems, whether it be what book to read next, how to work a program on the computer, or finding resources for a project. Growing up, school and public libraries were her safe haven, and she seeks to make the Archer Public Library just as welcoming for all its patrons.





Headshot Photograph of Beverly Lowry

Beverly Lowry was born in Memphis and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi. She is the author of six novels and five works of nonfiction, including her latest book, Deer Creek Drive: A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Mississippi Review, Granta, and many other publications. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Austin, Texas.




Headshot Photograph of Stephen Harrigan

Stephen Harrigan is the author of 12 books of fiction and non-fiction, including the bestselling novel The Gates of the Alamo and Remember Ben Clayton, which among other awards won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical fiction from the Society of American Historians. Big Wonderful Thing, his sweeping narrative history of Texas, was published by the University of Texas Press in October 2019 and was named best nonfiction book of the year by the Philosophical Society of Texas. His most recent novel, The Leopard is Loose, was released by Knopf in January 2022. Harrigan is a writer-at-large and long-time contributor to Texas Monthly. Many of the pieces he wrote for the magazine are collected in his career-spanning essay collection The Eye of the Mammoth. He is also a screenwriter who has written many movies for television. For 20 years, he taught creative writing as a faculty fellow at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Harrigan has received lifetime achievement awards from the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Book Festival and was presented with the Texas Medal of Arts in 2019. He and his wife Sue Ellen live in Austin. 



For a full overview of the #TXBookChat series, please visit:

Season 6

Past #TXBookChat Discussions

Page last modified: February 1, 2023