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Beverly Lowry Papers

Identifier: 1982-003

The bulk of material in this collection consists of typescript drafts of three of Beverly Lowry's novels: Come Back, Lolly Ray; Emma Blue; and Daddy's Girl. The drafts include both original and photocopied typescript, with corrections in the author's hand. Some of the drafts are copyedited.

The collection includes preparatory materials for the three novels such as lists of possible titles, outlines and character notes, drawings, and photographs. A small amount of correspondence received by Beverly Lowry from her agent and her editor is included. The papers also include galley proofs and page proofs for the three novels.

The Beverly Lowry Collection is arranged in two series, Writings and Other Materials, and is housed in five boxes and one oversize box.


  • 1976-1982


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Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


4.00 linear feet

Biographical Information:

Beverly Fey Lowry was born in 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Greenville, Mississippi. In 1960 she received her B.A. for drama/speech and English literature from Memphis State University. She married Glenn Lowry in 1960 (they are no longer married) and they had two sons.

Lowry's writing career began after she and her husband moved to Houston in 1965. She became an associate professor of fiction writing at the University of Houston in 1976, and in 1977 published her first novel, Come Back, Lolly Ray. That novel and the one that followed it, Emma Blue (1978) were set in the small Southern town of Eunola. In 1981 she published Daddy's Girl, a novel about a Houston honky-tonk singer/songwriter, and her relationship with a flamboyant father.

In 1981, Lowry and her family moved to San Marcos, Texas. During the next six years, both of Lowry's parents died, and her 18-year-old son Peter was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Lowry did not publish any books during this time.

In 1987, Lowry published the novel The Perfect Sonya, about a New York actress originally from Baytown, Texas, who supplements her income by swimming in a fish tank at a bar. The following year she published Breaking Gentle, which was set on a quarter-horse ranch in the Texas hill country. In 1992 she published the non-fiction book Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir, which fused the story of Death Row inmate Karla Faye Tucker, convicted for her part in a notorious Houston double murder, with Lowry's account of the death of her son. After moving to Los Angeles in 1992, she published The Track of Real Desires (1994), a novel that returns to the Eunola setting of her earlier books. More recent works have included the biography Her Dream of Dreams: The Rise and Triumph of Madam C.J. Walker (2003) and the novel Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life (2007).

Lowry has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and the Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award. Lowry is currently the director of the Creative Nonfiction Program at George Mason University. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Acquisition Information:

These items were purchased from Beverly Lowry in 1982 with funds from the Houston Assembly of Delphian Chapters and Delphian Scholarship Foundation Fund.

Guide to the Beverly Lowry Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA