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James Lee Burke Bibliography Wiki

Read more about James Lee Burke on Wikipedia

James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B.A. Degree in English, and an M.A. from the University of Missouri in 1958, and 1960 respectively. Over the years he worked as a Landman for Sinclair Oil Company, Pipeliner, Land Surveyor, Newspaper Reporter, College English Professor, Social Worker on Skid Row in Los Angeles, Clerk for the Louisiana Employment Service, and Instructor in the U.S. Job Corps.

He and his Wife, Pearl, met in Graduate School and have been together since 1958, and been married since 1960. They have four children: Jim Jr., an Assistant U.S. Attorney; Andree, a School Psychologist; Pamala, A Television Ad Producer; and Alafair, a Law Professor and Novelist, who has four novels out with Henry Holt Publishing.

Burke’s novels have won The Edgar Award twice, for Best Crime Novel of the Year. He has also been a recipient of a Breadloaf and Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant. Two of his novels, “Heaven’s Prisoners” and “Two For Texas”, have been made into major motion pictures. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, New Stories from the South, Best American Short Stories, Antioch Review, Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His novel, “The Lost Get-Back Boogie” was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Today, He and his Wife live in Missoula, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana.


Note: Each of the books in the Holland family saga are written as standalone novels. Each novel features a descendant of the original Hackberry Holland.

Billy Bob Holland

Featuring Hackberry Holland

The patriarch of the Holland family is Son Holland, whom we meet in Two for Texas. He escaped from a prison in Louisiana in 1835 with Hugh Allison, a former member of the Mason-Harp gang. Son fought at the Battle of San Jacinto and was a friend of Sam Houston and Deaf Smith, and later leaves Texas with Hugh for the Milk River country of Montana Territory.

His son was Sam Morgan Holland, who was a Confederate soldier, a drover during Reconstruction, a gunfighter, a violent alcoholic, and the lover of Rose Dunn, known as the Cimarron Rose. Later he hung up his guns and became a Baptist saddle preacher on the Chisholm Trail and the Staked Plains.

His son was Hackberry Holland, who owned ranches near Yoakum, San Angelo, and Kerrville, Texas. He was a city marshal and a Texas ranger and had a symbiotic and violent relationship with John Wesley Hardin during the infamous Sutton-Taylor feud. He first appears in the short story titled "Hack." He is also the chief protagonist in the novel House of the Rising Sun.

Hackberry Holland the younger is the grandson whom we first meet in the story "Uncle Sidney and the Mexicans." He was a Navy corpsman who was wounded at the Chosin Reservoir and spent almost three years in a place called the Bean Camp in No Name Valley, a godforsaken piece of wasteland in North Korea. He narrates his war experience in the novel Lay Down My Sword and Shield. Much later in life, we meet him again in the novels Rain Gods and Feast Day of Fools after he has given up his law career and become a sheriff on the Tex-Mex border.

Billy Bob Holland is Hack the younger's cousin. He, too, was a Texas Ranger and later a lawyer. We first meet him in the novel Cimarron Rose, in which he narrates the love affair between Sam Morgan Holland and Rose Dunn. He is also the protagonist in BitterrootHeartwood, and In the Moon of Red Ponies.

Weldon Holland is also the grandson of Hackberry Holland the older. Weldon meets Bonnie and Clyde in the novel Wayfaring Stranger and is forever changed by the experience. In one way or another, Bonnie Parker is with him from the Battle of the Ardennes to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the neo-colonial intrigue of the postwar years.

James Lee Burke has contributed short stories to a number of anthologies, special collections and magazines.  A sampling of these works are listed below.

Wide Awake in the Pelican State

Stories by Contemporary Louisiana Writers
ISBN-13: 9780807130346
edited by Ann Brewster Dobie

includes The Convict

Contributors: John Biguenet, James Lee Burke, Robert Olen Butler, Kelly Cherry, Moira Crone, Albert Belisle Davis, Charles deGravelles, John Dufresne, Richard Ford, Ernest J. Gaines, Louis Gallo, Tim Gautreaux, Norman German, Ellen Gilchrist, Joan Arbour Grant, Shirley Ann Grau, Dinty W. Moore, Tim Parrish, Tom Piazza, Nancy Richard, James Wilcox.


Delta Blues
ISBN-10: 1935562061
edited by Carolyn Haines

includes Big Midnight Special

Contributors: Ace Atkins, Lynne Barrett, James Lee Burke, Suzann Ellingsworth, Beth Ann Fennelly, Bill Fitzhugh, Tom Franklin, John Grisham, Carolyn Haines, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Hudson, Alice Jackson, Dean James, Toni L.P. Kelner, Michael Lister, Daniel Martine, Mary Saums, David Sheffield, Nathan Singer, and Les Standiford.


Naked: Writers Uncover the Way We Live on Earth
ISBN-13: 9781568582948
edited by Susan Zakin

Includes  Last Car to Elysian Fields

Through works of fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir, this energetic anthology addresses issues that concern us today: genetic research, globalization, technology, urban alienation, suburban sprawl, immigration, animal rights, colonialism, wilderness preservation, and much more.


Retrieving Bones: Stories and Poems of the Korean War

ISBN-13: 9780813526393
edited by  W. D. Ehrhart

Includes We Build Churches, Inc

A collection of twelve stories and fifty poems, maps, a chronology of the Korean War, along with annotated lists of novels, works of nonfiction, and films.


Texas Bound Book II

ISBN-13: 9780870744273
edited by Kay Cattarulla

Includes The Convict

A continuing introduction to Texan short fiction, with stories from 22 authors.


Best of the South

ASIN: B000LY1P04
edited by Anne Tyler

includes Water People

Twenty stories selected from the best Southern writers.