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Jan Reid Papers

Identifier: SWWC-059

Scope and Contents

The Jan Reid collection span the years from 1976 to 1988 and includes working drafts, photographs and correspondence relating to Reid's career as a journalist and novelist. They are arranged according to the following series: Books(1974-1986), Articles and Stories (1975-1994, undated), and Correspondence (1976-1993, undated)


  • 1974-1994


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

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

Writer Jan Reid was born on March 18, 1945, in Abilene, Texas. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1964-1970. He received his BA from Midwestern University in 1968 and then went on to receive his MA from the University of Texas in 1972. Reid began to write for the Mt. Pleasant Tribune and soon after quit to seek another job as the sports editor for the New Braunfels Herald in 1972. His break came in 1973 when an editor at Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine suggested he contact a publication that was just getting started in Austin. Texas Monthly needed young, hungry contributing writers. Along with Stephen Harrigan, Shelby Hearon, Prudence Mackintosh and others, Reid joined in on the ground floor in 1973 and became one of the upstart publication's first writers. He wrote countless stories for Texas Monthly and soon after became a contributing editor for the magazine. In 1974 Reid published The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, which tells the story of "the movement that changed the face of traditional country music. It traces the development of the exuberant music community in Austin, Texas, from its formative years in the early sixties up to the flourishing activities of the present." "Like many Americans of my generation, I had fantasized my share of guarded moments over the turn my life would have taken had I been one of those lucky fellows with guitars slung like machine guns on their hips, mowing the audiences down." He also started up Look Away Books, a small publishing company. While visiting Mexico, along with three friends, on April 20, 1998 he was shot by two robbers. Soon after Reid began to write a book, The Bullet Meant for Me, about his ordeal, describing how the shooting left him a paraplegic and his subsequent struggle to regain as much physical control of his body as possible. Texas A&M University Press recently published Close Calls: Jan Reid's Texas, a collection of some of Reid's best-loved magazine pieces. Also, the March 2001 issue of Texas Monthly included a story, by Reid, about legendary Texas author Billy Lee Brammer and The Gay Place, Brammer's equally legendary novel about politics.

Reid passed away on September 19, 2020.


3 Linear Feet

4 boxes (Plus 1 oversize folder.)

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.


Working drafts, photographs, and correspondence make up the papers of journalist and novelist Jan Reid. The collection is arranged into the following three series: Books(1974-1986), Articles and Stories (1975-1994, undated), and Correspondence (1976-1993, undated)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jan Reid, 1974-1993.

Guide to the Jan Reid Papers
Processed by Tina Ybarra
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • Finding aid revised by Maggie DeBrecht: 2011
  • Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles: 2021

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA