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Puckerbrush Press Collection of Mary Gray Hughes

Identifier: SWWC-078

Scope and Contents

Personal papers, correspondence, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, computer disks and numerous copies of Hughes short stories, story lines, poems, and letters to editors fill .75 linear feet (2 boxes) documenting the writing of Hughes’s 2002 Puckerbrush Press book,Cora’s Seduction and Other Stories. The collection is arranged in four main series, Personal Documents, Correspondence with James Kelman, Computer Disks, and Writings by Hughes. The first series contains letters and documents of a personal nature to Hughes and vary in subject matter. The second series consists exclusively of correspondence with James Kelman, editor of Cora’s Seduction. Numerous letters from Kelman include newspaper and magazine clippings related to the book. The third series of the collection is Computer Disks related to the publication of the book. Series four comprises the bulk of the collection. Writings by Hughes includes drafts of all of the stories published in Cora’s Seduction: “Cora’s Seduction,” “In a Strange Land,” “A Few Spoken Words,” “Life Blood,” “Welcome Strangers, and Others Too,” “Third House, on the Left,” “Reunion,” “Torn Leaves,” and “The Long Drive,” as well as drafts of numerous other short stories, story lines, poems, poem ideas, that were not selected for the compilation. Further description of this and other series in the collection are available in the following section.


  • 1977-2002


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Contact the Wittliff Collections for information about additional materials from this writer that have not yet been fully processed.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Mary Gray Hughes, the daughter of Texas author and newspaperman, Hart Stilwell and his first wife, Mary Gray Seabury, was born in Brownsville, Texas on August 25, 1930. A prolific and respected author in her own right, Hughes wrote and was published almost continuously for nearly three decades from 1969 until dying from cancer in Chicago, IL in September, 1999. Throughout her life, she received numerous awards for her writing. She received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing (1978), was Illinois Writer in Residence from 1977-1980, had her stories anthologized in Best American Short Stories (1962, 1972), had her stories mentioned in Best American Stories (1974-1975), and was elected a member of the Texas Institute of Letters in 1983. Hughes graduated from Brownsville High School in 1947 then attended The University of Mexico for a summer before completing her education at The University of Texas and Barnard College. While at Barnard, she participated in Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts. After receiving a Fulbright Scholarship for two years, she pursued a Master of Letters in Social Anthropology. She graduated in 1953. In this same year, she married J.R.T. Hughes. Moving to Illinois, Hughes gave birth to a son, Benjamin in 1960, and twin girls, Charis and Margaret, in 1962. Starting in 1954, Hughes worked continuously at a variety of jobs – almost all in the teaching, publishing, and writing fields. She was an editor at Bowker Publishing Co. and People’s Book Club, and was the Writer in Residence of the Illinois Arts Council. She conducted writing workshops at high schools and colleges; served as consultant for the Illinois Arts Council; was writer-consultant to the graduate program in Creative Writing for the University of South Alabama; lecturer in English at Lake Forest College; lecturer in English at Northwestern University, and a judge for the Texas Institute of Letters. All the while, Hughes worked on her own writing and had numerous short stories, poems, and books published. Notable among her works are the short story collections, The Calling and Cora’s Seduction and Other Stories, and the novel, The Empty Lot. This collection of papers represent the materials published by Puckerbrush Press as Cora’s Seduction and Other Stories, and were donated to Texas State University’s Wittliff Collection by the Press in 2003.


0.75 Linear Feet

2 boxes

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


Personal papers, correspondence, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, computer disks and numerous copies of Hughes short stories, story lines, poems, and letters to editors documenting Hughes’s 2002 Puckerbrush Press collection, Cora’s Seduction and Other Stories.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Puckerbrush Press, 2003.

Puckerbrush Press Collection of Mary Gray Hughes
Krista McDonald
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA