The Big Thicket 

A harrowing coming-of-age tale spiced with murder, incest, and deep-woods magic. From the surprising and beautifully crafted violence of the opening sequence to the inevitable and yet unexpected ending, The Big Thicket is a savory dish indeed—and a great read.   Andrew Geyer, novelist (Meeting the Dead)

Jerry Craven's characters live in a context of the author's extensive, hard-won documentary research. In the thicket familiar to all of us, he kindles our imaginations with memorable word images of thick-beamed court rooms, country dances, rural burials, cold morning hunts, and cotton and corn farming. When his characters leave the thicket for New Orleans and elsewhere, they leave behind them a distant island, painted clearly as being apart from the rest of the world. William Seale, historian (Texas Riverman) 


Set in East Texas in 1877-80 and based on some real events, The Big Thicket is the story of Tim Coke and his best friend Lucius Simmons, an ex-slave, who struggle with the racial tensions of the Texas Big Thicket region. 

 

In manuscript form the novel won two awards:

     1. first place in the Frontiers in Writing contest for best novel

     2. one chapter in the book took second place for short fiction

         in the Southwest Writers Conference annual contest.

Jerry Craven Texas writer Texas novelist the big thicket saving a songbird Rama's spear East Texas writer Texas poet creative nonfiction dramatic poetry Tiger, tiger Bruce Jefferson Snake Mountain Slough Press Lamar University Press Ink Brush Press tips for writers contact Jerry Craven YA fiction