Hermes Nye

A Nye for a Nye

From the nostalgia section comes this excerpt from and review of Hermes Nye's long-lost 1958 novel Fortune is a Woman, posted today to The Neglected Books Page. Nye's among those once-upon-a-time famous Dallas folks whose name has slipped into history's margins: The Chicago native spent most of his life in Dallas, where the lawyer accrued his fame as both writer and folkie -- releasing, as a matter of fact, five albums on the immortal Folkways label (with such titles as Ballads of the Civil War and Texas Folk Songs) while appearing on other compilations. A few words about his place in Dallas' folk-music past can be found in James Ward Lee's Adventures With a Texas Humanist.

Nye penned two books about Dallas: the novel Fortune is a Woman ("the explosive story of a struggling young lawyer and the girl who got in his way") and, in 1972, the autobiographical Sweet Beast, I Have Gone Prowling: A Novel of Dallas, which you'll still find on the Half-Price Books shelves on occasion. You'll find a little about the latter here (including Nye's feelings for his adopted home town: "I love it now as one loves a beautiful, dangerous and wayward woman, as much for her faults as for her virtues"). Though I'd love to find a copy of his 1965 book How to be a folksinger;: How to sing and present folksongs; or, The folksinger's guide; or, Eggs I have laid, which is among the best titles in the history of words. --Robert Wilonsky

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.