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Houstonian 1987
The Classrooms
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Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1987 - The Classrooms. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 25, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/25027/show/24795.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1987 - The Classrooms. Houstonian Yearbook Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/25027/show/24795

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston, Houstonian 1987 - The Classrooms, Houstonian Yearbook Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 25, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/25027/show/24795.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houstonian 1987
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Language English
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Digital Collection Houstonian Yearbook Collection
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title The Classrooms
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name yearb_1987_167.jpg
Transcript Thomas Cobb, a recent graduate of the UH creative writing program, has sold his first novel following competitive bidding from six major publishers for the manuscript rights. Harper and Row is printing 25,000 copies of his novel, Crazy Heart, for first release in September. "A typical first print is 5,000 copies," Cobb said. Author Rosellen Brown, one of Cobb's instructors in the UH program, has spoken with his editor at Harper and Row. "They have great expectations for Crazy Heart — far beyond the average novel," she said. "Tom's book is going to be much read and talked about. It's going to make a big impact." Cobb, reluctant to discuss his advance, did say that it was substancial for a book not in tended for the popular market. "It's more than what's typically given for a first novel." Crazy Heart is about country-western singer Bad Blake, a 56-year old alcoholic, who has been four times married and four times divorced. Very popular in the late '50s and early '60s, Blake has lost his popularity and his record label. Now, he plays with a house band in a Houston bar. While on his annual working roadtrip, Blake finds his son, who he hasn't seen in 20 years, and falls in love with a woman in Santa Fe. He tries to build a real relationship with the woman, but he doesn't know how. "He looks for a redemption he can't find," Cobb said. "His aculturation is too much for him to overcome." Nevertheless, Cobb said the novel is a tragi-comedy. "Bad is a funny guy. He is an interesting character that I like a lot." Cobb, 39, said his novels are not planned out. He just lets them go and follows their direction. Discussing this technique, he quoted the poet Wil- lam Stafford: "Writing is a way of finding something to say that you wouldn't have said if you hadn't started writing." Crazy Hart is Cobbs, second attempt at a novel. The first was several years ago, but it "went nowhere," he said. "I tell writing students you've got to fail a number of times to get to the good stuff. Sometimes you just have to clear the bad stuff out of the way. It's another way to gain ground. He said most writers have a lot of trouble seeing it that way "because writing is so incredibly personal." "Writers must learn to objectify, to know that this is not me, this is something I wrote," Cobb said. "And I will learn to write better and better stuff. A large percentage of what we write is not successful." Cobb came to Houston in 1982 because he could work on his PH.D. and continue writing. He was also attracted to the faculty, particularly Brown and Donald Barthelme. "The creative writing program was still fairly new, but its reputation was building. People were talking about it, even in Arizona." "Tom knew what he was doing from the beginning," Brown said. "He improved in the program, but he came in with a great deal of talent." Cobb said disciple is the major thing he learned at UH. "I was always a binge writer, he said. "I would write once every two or three weeks, then write all day and all night until I had something done." Now, Cobb said, he writes five or sometimes six nights a week. "I sit down until I have at least three pages. I won't quit until I have them," he said. "At times I've been up until 2 a.m. struggling for that third page — other evenings I've finished as many as seven pages by 11 p.m." Currently, Cobb is teaching an introduction to fiction course at UH and is acting director of lower division studies. He is also writing another novel and working on revisions of Crazy Heart with Harper and Row. He will begin to read from his work in Rhode Island and will continue around the country through the fall. Crazy Heart will be pre-published for the American Booksellers Association Meeting this summer. "Most publishers choose one or two books to pre-publish so booksellers have a chance to preview them," Cobb said. "It's important; it means more advance sales." Cobb earned his B.A. and M.A. in English and his M.F.A. in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Arizona. Before coming to Houston he was a bookstore owner in Tucson and Associate Editor of Newsreal, a music publication. — Marilyn Swanson 167