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Marshall Terry turns his novelist’s eye to history as SMU approaches its centennial anniversary

As only he can, Marshall Terry, the distinguished novelist and English professor who taught at Southern Methodist University for more than fifty years, has captured the spirit of the place in his new book, “From High on the Hilltop . . .” Marshall Terry’s History of SMU with Various Essays by His Colleagues. The history, an informal one filled with Terry’s insights based on his long association with the university, is augmented by fourteen essays that address specific topics and a comprehensive time-line. Essay authors include the president of SMU, R. Gerald Turner. The book, over-sized (10” x 10”), contains a large number of historical photographs dating from the university’s founding in 1911 to the present time. Particularly striking are the portraits of the university’s ten presidents, six of whom Terry knew and worked with in various administrative as well as teaching positions.

Terry is one of Texas’ most distinguished novelists. He is former president and a Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters. In 1991 that organization presented him with the Lon Tinkle Award for lifetime achievement. In 2007 SMU awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters. He is the founder of the creative writing program at Southern Methodist University as well as being the E.A. Lilly Distinguished Professor of English. His teaching career began at SMU in 1954. His novels include Old Liberty, Tom Northway, My Father’s Hands, Land of Hope and Glory, Angels Prostate Fall, Tex Rex, and The Murder of Milo. His short stories have been collected in Dallas Stories and The Memorialist.

“From High on the Hilltop ...” is published jointly by DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, and Three Forks Press, Dallas. A paperback edition is available now, and a cloth edition will be published later this month. Copies can be ordered directly from DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University or from Three Forks Press ( The book is also available in bookstores. Paperback edition, $24.95. Cloth edition, $34.95.


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