John R. Erickson

John provides commentary and short fiction to WORLD. His Hank the Cowdog series for children has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide, and in addition to publishing 74 books, his work has appeared in news outlets such as The Dallas Morning News. John and his wife, Kris, reside near Perryton, Texas.

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The rabbi's grandson

2016 Books Issue | Appreciating the novels of Herman Wouk
by John R. Erickson
Posted 6/10/16, 01:00 am

Novelist Herman Wouk had his 101st birthday on May 27. He once said, “Religion and art both fight, on different fronts, against the dull rust that habit puts on the wonder of things.” He’s been able to retain his sense of wonder all these years.

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Photo courtesy of John R. Erickson

A Mother's Day celebration of strong women

Family | They may not fit our culture’s definition of strong, but these wives and mothers gave their strength to the people around them
by John R. Erickson
Posted 5/07/16, 08:28 am

Growing up in a small town in West Texas, I couldn’t wait to leave home and go see the bright lights of New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. The ranching heritage on my mother’s side of the family meant little to me. I saw it as backward and insignificant.

After high school, I moved away and had my fling with cities—changed clothes, learned to disguise my accent, and tried to wash Texas off of my skin. I wanted to be a novelist who wrote about important things, and important things happened only in cities, right?

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Photos courtesy of John R. Erickson

The Dance

Essay | From politics to theatrics, how a campus courtship began
by John R. Erickson
Posted 3/19/16, 02:52 pm

In the spring semester of my junior year (1965) at the University of Texas, I was seized by the notion that the school would be a better place if I got myself elected to the student Senate. Apparently I had forgotten a nugget of wisdom I had learned in high school when I had dabbled in student politics: If you get elected to an office, you have to attend all the meetings.

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