Gone to Texas

In the nineteenth century, back when Texas was part of Mexico, a sign nailed to the front door of an abandoned house in the South reading “Gone to Texas” (or sometimes just GTT) meant that the inhabitants had fled and were out of reach. Perhaps they were escaping the law, but just as likely they were escaping debt collectors. There was free land to be had out west as part of the Homestead Act of 1854, and the homestead exemption rule stipulated that land acquired from the Republic of Texas could not be seized for the payment of debts incurred before immigration into Texas. Were J. Frank Norfleet’s grandparents fleeing something awful when they moved from Mississippi to San Antonio in 1854?

All of which is a long-winded and fairly irrelevant way of saying I will be GTT next month for the Texas Book Fair in Austin. Check out the list of authors who will be participating; there I am, right after Dan Rather. I know I should be playing it cool, but I’m really excited to hear some amazing writers read from their work, including Kristin Cashore, Mark Z. Danielewski, D.T. Max, Naomi Wolf, and Captain Underpants.

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