Writing

Photo of Author Stephen Harrigan


Stephen Harrigan
Novelist
Journalist
Screenwriter


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Author Steve Harrigan being interviewed by TPWD Employee Ron Smith

We were honored to have famous author Steve Harrigan join our webcast! Read these book reviews praising Stephen Harrigan's amazing accomplishments with the written word. How does he write so well? What does he communicate about natural resources?


Cover of Stephen Harrigan's Novel 'Gates of the Alamo'

The Gates of the Alamo

New York Times bestseller

"A time and a place, a vanished world in which gallant death and honor still held tangible appeal, while merciless slaughter was more likely the rule, are evoked with great skill." —The New York Times Book Review, Robert Houston

The first great novel of the 21st century.... This is storytelling at its finest.— Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A picturesque historical saga comparable to Lonesome Dove and The Killer Angels...a new masterpiece in the literature of fact.— Christian Science Monitor

"Following the examples of novelists like Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry . . . a genuinely moving epic and, paradoxically, yet another unforgettable Alamo."— Newsweek

"Riveting . . . The strength of Harrigan's extraordinarily authentic novel is in its superior storytelling." — The Washington Post

"In a large, lush book [Harrigan] eloquently and dramatically recasts the myth that was born on March 6th 1836. . . . [His] gift to us is an artful, intelligent novel that makes the hard work of memory terrifically worthwhile." — Boston Globe


Cover of Stephen Harrigan's book 'A Natural State'

A Natural State

“A very personal view of the vast yet diverse nature of the Texas landscape. Harrigan’s observations are not those of an academically trained naturalist but rather the fresh outlook of a city-bred tourist rejoicing in the exhilaration of discovery.” —Booklist

“Like our best nature writers, he tells us not only what’s out there, but connects it to our everyday lives. . . A Natural State is recommended reading not just for Texans but for all who would explore their connections to the natural world.” —The Washington Post

“The quality that puts Harrigan into the league with the best nature writers. . . lies in his “search for those vibrant moments in which which one can believe that one’s existence belongs authentically to the world of nature.” Always on the prowl for what he terms “power centers,” Harrigan sometimes uncovers these “vibrant moments,” sometimes not, but his prose remains steady in either case as he leads the willing reader along the path of his quest.” —New Orleans Times Picayune

“Harrigan tests the validity of [his] love of place in a series of essays about the Texas that does not appear on the television show “Dallas” or in the pages of the Neiman-Marcus catalogue. And he finds a place of remarkable natural variety and peculiar beauty. A place worth loving. He explores the desert, which is to be expected. And the zoo, which is not. In what is perhaps the best essay in a consistently deft book, he spends a day along the surf line of a Gulf Coast beach. His descriptions of the mix of life there. . . recall the best of Rachel Carson’s forgotten books about the sea. . . If this book is Harrigan’s search for what there is to love about Texas, then he succeeds in convincing not just himself but the skeptical reader as well.”—Outside


Cover of Stephen Harrigan's book 'Water and Light'

Water and Light

"Mr. Harrigan's voice is light, steady and honest. . . The reader emerges from the book feeling more graceful and fluid--diver-like--and enriched by both passion and knowledge. Mr. Harrigan cares for the reader as much as he does the coral reefs. Water and Light takes the reader on a quiet, lonely, fulfilling journey."—Rick Bass, The Dallas Morning News

"Harrigan. . . captures the peacefulness of being rocked by salty currents, the massive beauty of the reefs, the exhilaration of the sport, and the mental scramble to retain fast-fading memories of sights almost unimaginable on land. Fellow divers will relish his camaraderie, while those who prefer staying topside will feel as though they've taken the plunge themselves."—Booklist

"Moving, intelligent and, in the best sense, literary. . . Stephen Harrigan is anchored in reality; he knows that the environment he's describing is in serious jeopardy. At the same time, he has made this book sparkle with his remarkable ability to discuss the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of underwater exploration without ever sounding saccharine or murky."—Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

"What makes reading Water and Light so intensely pleasurable is Stephen Harrigan's craftsmanship as a writer. His prose is as confident and beautiful as a tropical sky, and as clear as a sheltered lagoon. The allure to dive into it is irresistible."—The Raleigh News and Observer

"There is something wonderful about this strange and fascinating book, about Harrigan's hopeless quest, his unrequited but potent passion. . . and, of course, the magical world he brings so vividly to life."—The San Francisco Chronicle

"[Harrigan] tells us about the people who live on Grand Turk, or come there on business, and he is given to reflecting on the subtleties of the underwater experience, but his real virtue as a writer is his ability to convey, in precise, lucid prose, the marvels of the sea bottom."—The New Yorker


Learn More:

Student Challenge: Read these water quotes. Are any meaningful to you? Can you write your own water quote?
Stephen Harrigan's Web site: http://www.stephenharrigan.com
ABC's of Writing: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/writingprocess
Interviews with Stephen Harrigan: http://www.4empowerment.com/en/community/expertspotlight/la/harrigan.jhtml

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