Somewhat slender, but not totally tenuous

That’s the connection between a book by a used-to-be Austinite and Austin. I recognized the author’s name, so I borrowed the book from the library. The name is Adrienne Martini, and the book is Hillbilly Gothic, subtitled “A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood.” The name was familiar from the Chron and also from Austin Mama, to which Adrienne Martini contributes an essay sort of monthly. The events recounted in the book, which is in great part a memoir of post-partum depression, take place in Knoxville. As to Austin, the author thanks her old editor, Robert Faires; the dust jacket carries a blurb by Marion Winik, another former Austinite and Chron contributor; and we learn that the author lived behind a Walgreens and that Austin is hot, hot, hot three seasons of the four. I don’t think she loved Austin, describing it in the book as “being strip-mined by Hollywood and the recording industry for all of its cool, indy cred” and saying that summer “spanned from April to October” and writing of the “oppressive sunlight.” Why did she decamp? “After five years there, I was ready to leave. Austin is a great place to live, as long as you don’t mind the constant heat and oppressive hipsters. But it was time for me to go. I’ve never been a good fake Texan and am completely unable to embrace the expensiveness that is their birthright. There’s too much sun and too much sky and too much space.” Adrienne Martini now resides in Oneonta, New York, reportedly the birthplace of Jerry Jeff Walker. She has her own blog.

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