First edition cover
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
Texas (1985) is a novel by American writer James A. Michener based on the history of the Lone Star State. Characters include real and fictional characters spanning hundreds of years, such as explorers (particularly Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca), Spanish colonists, American immigrants, German Texan settlers, ranchers, oil men, aristocrats, Chicanos, and others, all based on extensive historical research. At 1,076 pages, it was the longest Michener novel published by Random House. Given the success of his previous novels, the company did a first printing of 750,000 copies, 'the largest in the company's history.'
Michener did extensive research on the novel in Texas, receiving much support from the state government. Governor Bill Clements offered him access to numerous state archives and research staff at the University of Texas at Austin.
Texas Monthly magazine did not like the novel, awarding Michener its 'Bum Steer of the Year Award' (given to people who have done something to merit ridicule or embarrassment) for the work's "hackneyed dialogue" and "tendency to resort to stereotypes". The journal, however, made peace with Michener later.
The novel was adapted as a 1994 made-for-TV movie of the same name, directed by Richard Lang and featuring actors Stacy Keach, Benjamin Bratt, Rick Schroder and Patrick Duffy. The TV daytime series Texas is not related to the book or film.
- ALBIN KREBS, 'James Michener, Author of Novels That Sweep Through the History of Places, Is Dead', New York Times, 17 October 1997, accessed 12 October 2014
- '1986 Bum Steer Awards', Texas Monthly, February 1986
- 'James Michener', Texas Monthly
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