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November 17, 2009

The Only Woman in the Room

The Austin American-Statesman writes about the unsinkable Molly Ivins' "legendary status."

"Austin authors Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith spent months sifting through the Ivins collection at the Briscoe Center for American History, and what they found there set the tone for their poignant new biography 'Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life.'

In her words and her papers, the writers came to know a gentler, more vulnerable Molly Ivins, far more complex than the woman suggested by her folksy, lead-with-a-laugh persona. The experience clearly moved them. You can see it, even now, in the gentle way the authors sift through the contents of the open boxes, solemnly moving aside Molly's favorite blue shirt — the one she always wore when playing catch with her dog — to reach for a personal letter.

Bill Minutaglio has long been regarded as one of the great writers in Texas journalism. During his stint at The Dallas Morning News in the 1980s and 1990s, Minutaglio wrote exquisite long-form pieces about Texas poverty in a time of plenty. He also covered Dallas history, the blues, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Minutaglio has written seven books of nonfiction, including a George W Bush biography and "City On Fire" in which he tells the story of he 1947 Texas City Disaster in a narrative that feels more like a novel than a piece of history. He currently teaches journalism at the University of Texas at Austin."

In other coverage, The Daily Beast has Minutaglio's column about this sassy Texan, "the Texas cornpone flavored with a Tabasco sting".

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