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Wed Jul 31, 2013, 03:13 PM

Goodbye to a writer; John Graves dead at 92

John Graves, a Texas writer whose book about a canoe trip down the Brazos River in the late 1950s, is regarded as a classic, died on July 30 at Hard Scrabble, his small farm outside Glen Rose. The dean of Texas letters, he was 92 and had been in declining health for several years.

Graves wrote a number of books about Texas rural life, nature and the environment, but his "Goodbye to a River" is the one that endures. The late historian A.C. Greene, in a review for the Dallas Times Herald, called it "as fine a book as has ever been written about Texas." Austin writer Stephen Harrigan called "Goodbye to a River" "a towering American classic."

Graves was born in Fort Worth on Aug. 6, 1920, and grew up in Fort Worth and on his grandparents' farm near Cuero, Texas. Graduating from Rice University in 1942, he joined the Marine Corps, and as a first lieutenant in the Pacific was injured on the island of Saipan, losing sight in one eye. After the war, he received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1947.

He lived for awhile in New York and Spain, but eventually realized that as a writer, Texas was his place. Coming back home in 1957 to care for his father, who was ill with cancer, he taught for two years at the University of Texas at Austin and later at Texas Christian University.

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Goodbye-to-a-writer-John-Graves-dead-at-92-4698127.php?cmpid=hpbn .

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