Review of Dominic Smith's "The Last Painting of Sara de Vos" in the Dallas Morning News

So interested readers can find my review of Dominic Smith’s novel The Last Painting of Sara de Vos in today’s Dallas Morning News here. I liked the book: quiet and understated.

I don’t really know anything about Smith, though I did cross paths with him over a decade ago, when both of us had fellowships at the Dobie Paisano Ranch outside of Austin, Texas, a six-month writing fellowship gig where you get to live on a 250+ acre ranch near Austin, with no requirements other than to write. I loved my time there, where I finished Goodnight, Texas in an idyllic Texas springtime. The birding was amazing, with Painted Buntings, Golden-cheeked Warblers (endangered), Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and even a migrant juvenile Whooping Crane passing through the landscape. Barton Creek winds through the ranch, and as it was a rainy, wet spring, we were able to swim in the creek our whole time there. On my birthday I remember how we were awakened by the gobbling of Wild Turkeys in our yard. Plus we had a trio of enormous longhorn cattle that liked to come feed on the grass in our yard. We were supposed to keep them out, but had a soft spot for the great bovines. My wife actually fed them cornbread, which they liked so much they later came up onto the porch to basically knock at the door, begging for more.

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