"At once history - both cultural and political - and sensual love story, it reaches beyond the genre to make for a magical and profound reading experience."


-Beverly Lowry

Sins of the Younger Sons

"If Graham Greene or Robert Stone had turned their literary talents toward the Basque separatist struggle in Spain, the result would be much like Jan Reid's outstanding novel, Sins of the Younger Sons."


-Thomas Zigal

New Novel

Sins of the Younger Sons

Available Now

at TCU Press

Jan Reid

About the author

Jan Reid, who lives in Austin and is the author of thirteen books, first won acclaim for his pop culture classic The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock and decades of wide-ranging articles for Texas Monthly. His talent for nonfiction grew in his memoir The Bullet Meant for Me and his biography of the late Texas governor Ann Richards, Let the People In. His love of fiction is also evident in his prize-winning novels Deerinwater and Comanche Sundown and now his third, dramatically different new one, Sins of the Younger Sons.


In 2014 the Texas Institute of Letters honored Jan with its Lon Tinkle Award for lifetime career achievement.


read more

Let the People In -

The Life and Times of Ann Richards

University of Texas Press

“Jan Reid gives us new insight into Ann Richards, whose wit filled any room with laughter, whose candor chased away every smokescreen, whose heart was as big as Texas. Governor Richards was a leader you wanted to follow to a world where everyone could be a winner, and she never stopped trying to take us there. I loved her and so will you.”


- former President Bill Clinton



“Here is Ann Richards—ribald, ferocious, vulnerable, and hilarious—the last Texas liberal, well remembered by her friend, Jan Reid. A classic Texas character captured by a classic Texas writer.”


- Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11




Comanche Sundown

TCU Press

“This book represents a summoning of all of Jan Reid’s remarkable powers. He writes with a scholar’s reach, a novelist’s depth, a native son’s intuitive grasp. He has long been one of the best Texas writers ever, and Comanche Sundown is his masterpiece.”


- Stephen Harrigan, author of Gates of the Alamo


“Comanche Sundown is a thrilling read. Though it’s a touchy word in literary criticism, the novel feels pure. It’s not pure because it’s airy or idea-oriented: it’s pure because Reid’s characters feel like living people. It’s the best writing Reid has ever done, and that’s saying a lot.”


- Clay Smith, Texas Observer



The Bullet Meant For Me

University of Texas Press

“Simultaneously haunting and heartwarming, this memoir brings the horror of random (or almost random) violence fully to life and demonstrates how one man used that experience as a stepping stone toward his own intellectual enlightenment.”


- Washington Post


“Jan Reid’s memoir is a powerful story of love, loss, and one kind of redemption. Living to tell such a story is an accomplishment in itself, but it takes an even greater talent to write it so beautifully.”


- Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone



“There’s a wealth of strong imagery in this memoir, but what truly generates its power is the magnetism of decency that allows the writer, and vicariously the reader, to rise beyond fear and chaos.”


— James Hoggard, the Denver Post





The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock

University of Texas Press

   “Ever wondered why God chose Austin to be the live music capital of the world? Read this book.”


  - Kinky Friedman


“Reid’s book is a classic, and its prescience is a thing of wonder. … This updated version is of immense cultural value and will surely appeal to a generation of music lovers for whom ‘redneck rock’ is simply a natural occurrence, albeit one of obscure origins.”


—Robert Draper, author of Rolling Stone Magazine: An Uncensored History



Other books by Jan Reid can be bought from Amazon.com or through its rare book contractors:



Deerinwater, a novel, 1985. Amazon

“Engrossing … Reid has a fine ear for the language of young punks and the stories of old-timers. He has everything down, from the interior of the Cadillac Inn to the look of mesquites and sky.’


—Dallas Morning News


Vain Glory, on football in Texas, 1986.  Amazon


Close Calls, a collection of magazine articles, 2000.  Amazon

“Jan Reid is not only a first-rate, painstaking reporter but an excellent wordsmith as well. I found the book absorbing and read it straight through from start to finish.”


—John Graves, author of Goodbye to a River and Hard Scrabble


“ A waltz across Texas with one of its most talented native sons. He’s put his life into this writing and, in a brilliantly chronicled tragedy of riveting drama, almost lost it in the process … a treasure chest of great writing by a writer who’s one of our treasures.”


—William Broyles, author of Brothers In Arms and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter.


Boy Genius: Karl Rove, with Lou Dubose and Carl Cannon, 2003.  Amazon


Rio Grande, writers and photographers drawn to the border stream, 2004.  Amazon

     “Trying to wrestle the Rio Grande into one book is a foolhardy undertaking, not only because of the river’s complexity, but because so many writers have attempted the feat before. But this new collection from Jan Reid is a tribute to the river rivaled only by Paul Horgan’s 1954 masterpiece, Great River.”


— High Country News


“Famed editor Robert Giroux once remarked that ‘most editors are failed writers — but so are most writers.’ Jan Reid’s editorial proves him to be just the opposite — a successful writer with impressive editorial skills. In Rio Grande, Reid has assembled an intoxicating mix of prose, conveying the enchantment, struggle, and mystery of the river.”


— New Mexico Historical Review


The Hammer: Tom DeLay, with Lou Dubose, 2004.  Amazon


Layla and Other Assorted Long Songs, the making of the great rock album, 2006.  Amazon

     “Like the harrowing classic rock staple itself, Austin's Redneck Rock biographer rips into the legend of 1970's Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with all the grinning gusto of Duane Allman's impromptu, seven-note intro to the title track. Reid's lean, gutsy prose locks down a rhythm akin to a John Ford Western, at whose heart are four Southern boys conducting Eric Clapton's open-heart surgery.”


— Austin Chronicle


Texas Tornado: The Times and Music of Doug Sahm, with Shawn Sahm, 2010.  Amazon

“A great book about Doug Sahm that also happens to be a great book about American music itself. … Reid has written a book that essentially amounts to a 200-page love letter to the younger days that Doug Sahm colored with great music, good times, and, of course, what Reid refers to as ‘the good herb.’ The ride he’ll take you on as he inches toward the end of Sahm’s uniquely American tale will linger with you long after you’ve put the book down.”


— Culturespill