In his plays, writer Horton Foote often paints pictures of Harrison, a small Texas town. With the publication of his reminiscences, "Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood," readers can find a clear view into Wharton, the real small Texas town that helped form the writer once called the "Chekhov of the small town."
"Farewell" is the history of Foote's family and Wharton's residents around them. Stories come from Mrs. Sallie Stewart Gallahar, believed to be the first white child born in Wharton; Foote's great aunt Louisiana Texas Patience Horton (Loula for short); Foote's like-named daddy Big Horton; and Foote's uncles, known collectively as "the boys." Taken together, these tales recreate Foote's existence, from the family's move to Wharton in 1917 through Foote's departure for California in 1932.
Foote won a 1995 Pulitzer Prize for his play The Young Man From Atlanta. Other plays include The Chase, The Trip To Bountiful, The Habitation of Dragons, Night Seasons, In a Coffin in Egypt, Tomorrow, The Orphan's Home Cycle: (Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts, Lily Dale, The Widow Claire, Courtship, Valentine's Day, The Death of Papa), Dividing the Estate, Talking Pictures, Getting Frankie Married - And Afterwards, The Roads to Home, Laura Dennis and Vernon Early. He won two Academy Awards, one in 1983 for "Tender Mercies" and one for adapting Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1962.
"Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood" is published by Scribner at a retail price of $24.00.
-- By Christine Ehren