Prairie Gothic: The Story of a West Texas Family

  • by John R. Erickson
  • Narrated by George Utley
  • 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Prairie Gothic is full of Texas lore. Erickson tells the story of people in the context of a specific place. This place, instrumental in shaping their lives, is the flatland prairie of northwestern Texas that has gone by various names (High Plains, South Plains, Staked Plains, and Llano Estacado), as well as the rugged country on its eastern boundary, often referred to as the "caprock canyonlands."
One branch of Erickson's family arrived in Texas in 1858, settling in Parker County, west of Weatherford. Another branch, sturdy Quaker farmers from Ohio, helped establish the first Anglo settlement on the Llano Estacado in 1881, near present-day Lubbock.
Erickson's family interacts with significant historical figures, such as Cynthia Ann Parker, and includes members of the Estacado Quaker colony. There is the story of Martha Sherman, who died at the hands of the Comanche, and the tale of the notorious outlaw Tom Ross. Prairie Gothic also includes Erickson's encounters with famous Texas writers, such as John Graves and J. Evetts Haley.
Burrowing deep into his West Texas roots, Erickson discovered people of substance and strong character, made that way in part by the challenges they faced in a harsh environment. He has created a fascinating blend of family and regional history. Excerpts from journals, letters, and other original sources enrich the narrative.
The book is published by University of North Texas Press.

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What the Critics Say

"Erickson has given us a vivid and well-rounded picture of several generations in a pioneer family. He has a smooth writing style, offers sharp and clean images, and his prose often has a poetic quality." (Elmer Kelton, author of The Good Old Boys and The Day the Cowboys Quit)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very well done. Worth your time.

I was surprised and delighted to read this very well written book. I cried and laughed and chuckled and cried some more.
I often see very derogatory comments on TV and social media concerning Texas and Texans. Just like any other form of discrimination, these sort of comments single out a specific group of people with something in common and say "all bad". It would be nice if these sort of outspoken and narrow minded individuals would take some time to learn a little about the folks they're so quick to condemn, and from where those folks came from.
As a Texan, born and raised by several generations back of Texans, I say don't judge folks until you've walked a few miles in their boots.
This book would be a great start on that journey.
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- KTP

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2017
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks