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Literary Lubbock Honors Books and Authors



The 2023 Literary Lubbock event celebrates six extraordinary and different books published by Texas Tech University Press (TTUP).

This year’s selections range from a modern-day neurobehavioral analysis of Adolf Hitler to Texas Tech University’s 100th anniversary to a history of the Mallet Ranch and the oil fortune that continues to support the people of the West Texas region.

Literary Lubbock is set for 5:30-8 p.m., Nov. 14, in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, 2521 17th St. on the Texas Tech campus. Tickets are $65 each. Sponsorship tables are available for $1,000. The deadline for sponsorships is Nov. 1, and the deadline for individual tickets is Nov. 8. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by calling (806) 742-2982 or online at https://www.ttupress.org/literary-lubbock/.

Texas Tech University Press is the publishing arm of the university. Created in 1971, the Press publishes 20-25 new titles yearly.

Joanna Conrad, managing director of the Texas Tech University Press, notes that the community’s support of Literary Lubbock enables the Press to continue its mission of being the preeminent publisher of West Texas.

“West Texas, in the literary world, is really an underserved region,” Conrad says. “Part of the reason why the TTU Press was founded was to seek out those regional stories that weren’t being told and elevate them nationally. We are very proud of our work to give West Texas voices a platform, and events like Literary Lubbock help us showcase these amazing books to the public.”

This year’s Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest honoree is “More Than Running Cattle: The Mallet Ranch of the South Plains.” The book is written by M. Scott Sosebee, a history professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, with Wyman Meinzer, the state photographer of Texas, providing photography. The book tells the story of the Mallet Ranch and the DeVitt family, who have left a legacy of philanthropy that continues today across West Texas.

“The story of the Mallet Ranch encompasses so much of the story of the settlement of the South Plains and West Texas,” said Jim Bret Campbell, executive director of the National Ranching Heritage Center. “On those merits alone, this story deserved to be told. However, the DeVitt family’s impact and the foundations that Christine DeVitt and Helen Jones established have left indelible tracks on the South Plains. In helping gather images to show that impact, I heard firsthand the stories that have made a difference to people through the generosity of Helen Jones Foundation, Inc. and The CH Foundation.”

The Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest is TTUP’s flagship book series named in honor of the university’s former president. The book series is devoted to all aspects of culture, history, natural history and the sciences as they define the Southwest.

Murray’s widow, Sally Murray, believes he would be pleased to know that TTUP bestows the designation of the Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest to a book each year.

“Grover was a voracious reader,” she said. “These books cover many subjects, which would also please him. He had a personal collection of several thousand books, and the subjects they covered would resemble the public library of some small city. Reading, for him, was a luxury and, in his opinion, a great way to spend time. He always said, ‘You are never too old to learn.’”

All books at the event are available for sale and signing. This year’s featured books at Literary Lubbock are, with the individual who will present a brief description of the book:

· “100 Years, 100 Voices” - presented by Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, is a commemorative edition celebrating the university’s Centennial.

· “Doodlebugs and Dowsers: A History of Unusual Ways to Search for Oil” - presented by author Dan Plazak, is a popular history of the eccentric and nonscientific methods used in oil exploration.

· “Emmett J. Scott: Power Broker of the Tuskegee Machine,” written by Maceo C. Dailey and presented by book editor Will Guzmán, is the first biography of Emmett J. Scott, chief of staff and adviser to Booker T. Washington and power player behind the Tuskegee institute.

· “Hitler’s Maladies and Their Impact on WWII: A Behavioral Neurologist's View” - presented by author Tom Hutton, is a neurobehavioral analysis of Adolf Hitler drawn from a lifetime of medical research and clinical experience.

· “More Than Running Cattle: The Mallet Ranch of the South Plains” – compiled by M. Scott Sosebee, a professor of history at Stephen F. Austin State University and Wyman Meinzer, the state photographer of Texas, and presented by Jim Bret, is a history of the Mallet Ranch and the DeVitt family.

· “The West Texas Power Plant That Saved the World: Energy, Capitalism, and Climate Change, Revised and Expanded Edition” – presented by author Andy Bowman, examines how one solar power plant might chart a sustainable path forward by enlisting American capitalism in the fight against climate change.

Since 2003, Literary Lubbock has been a signature literary event for book lovers, authors and readers across the South Plains. Literary Lubbock is Texas Tech University Press’s annual fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting the Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest.

The evening features a reception, seated dinner and book signings. Andy Wilkinson, a noted musician and storyteller, will serve as emcee.

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