David Theis

David Theis is a longtime Houston writer. He is the author of the novel Rio Ganges and the editor of the anthology Literary Houston.

By David Theis:

outsider art
Arts & Minds

A Strange and Wonderful New Book Celebrates the Often-Ignored Work of Outsider Artists

The 11 short biographies included in the book — largely tales of suffering, redemption and mystery — are told with great sensitivity and warmth.

In 1967, more than 40 years after his death, Charles Dellschau’s belongings were finally piled out on the street in front of his former house in Houston. An antiques dealer was making a routine visit to inspect the junk when … Read More

Books

The Encyclopedic ‘Country Music USA’ Tells (Almost) the Whole Story

Laird does a masterful job of showing how, for many performers, the whole question of authenticity has become ridiculous.

Country music historian Bill C. Malone has lived to see the 50th anniversary reissue of his landmark book, Country Music USA. Fellow scholar Tracey E. W. Laird (Austin City Limits: A History) joined him for this, the book’s fourth edition, … Read More

Houston highways.
Books

Let the Concrete Pour: ‘Power Moves’ Tracks Houston’s Bleak Transportation History

Kyle Shelton’s even-handed new history never lets the reader forget that one person’s infrastructure disappointment is another person’s happiness.

Jensen Drive, on the east side of downtown Houston, is an unlikely spot to begin a narrative. This bleak stretch of pavement crosses over a sunken Interstate 10, under an elevated I-69 and connects two somewhat scruffy neighborhoods, the largely … Read More

Culture

Behind the New Look of Houston’s Oldest Park, a Complex Racial History

The oldest public park in Houston has been transformed by a $33 million renovation. But will it be enough to save the Third Ward?

Behind the New Look of Houston’s Oldest Park, a Complex Racial History The oldest public park in Houston has been transformed by a $33 million renovation. But will it be enough to save the Third Ward? On a recent Saturday … Read More

Environment

Buffalo Bayou Brouhaha

In the Harris County Flood Control District's “demonstration project,” 5,800 feet of Buffalo Bayou winding through the Hogg Bird Sanctuary and Houston's River Oaks neighborhood will have its vegetation, including its riparian forest, scraped bare. Read More

Archives

The Man Without a Middle

If you’re one of those people who grumbles that nobody in Hollywood takes chances anymore, take a moment to consider the cases of director Steven Soderbergh and actor Benicio del Toro. Che, their bifurcated film about the beginning and the … Read More

Archives

A Quiet Life, but Not Desperate

I wonder how many residents of Gonzales, Texas, are aware that a luminous work of art has been created on the streets of their home town. That work of art is Austin filmmaker Chris Eska’s August Evening. It’s an extremely … Read More

Archives

Misfortunate Son

Has anyone ever been more fascinating on account of his limitations, rather than his strengths, than George W. Bush has? The unreflective gut-player has inspired a library of books, a shelf of documentaries, and now an Oliver Stone film. (He … Read More

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