Every year, the Texas Book Festival awards the Texas Writer Award to one author who has significantly contributed to the state’s literary landscape. These authors put Lone Star narratives on the national radar, connecting people everywhere to the depths and joys of Texas literature. Previous recipients include Attica Locke, James Magnuson, Dan Rather, and Benjamin Alire Sánez, as well as many, many other talented individuals.
This year, we are so excited to present this award to Stephen Graham Jones, whose latest book is The Only Good Indians. We recently read The Only Good Indians in our Austin360 Book Club and were gripped by Jones’ new tale of horror, guilt, and revenge.
The story centers on four Native American friends haunted—quite literally—by a hunting trip gone wrong. Years after the incident, one of the men, Lewis, is suddenly forced to face his past before it first confronts him. With its expert blend of chilling imagery and social commentary, Jones’s novel tackles themes of tradition and cultural identity while keeping readers hooked.
Stephen Graham Jones is the author of seventeen or eighteen novels, six story collections, a couple of standalone novellas, and a couple of one-shot comic books. Jones is a former NEA recipient, winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, and a Bram Stoker Award, among many others. A Blackfeet Native American, he was born in Midland, Texas, and holds degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he serves as the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder. Stephen Graham Jones’s writing is dynamic, illuminative, and downright beautiful, and we are so excited to honor him at this year’s Festival.