To be clear, some of that exists. Of course. But it’s only part of what goes on here, and not a huge part. It just tends to get the most attention. When I think of people who best represent what Dallas is right now, I think of people like Ben Fountain, author of the brilliant Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, the basis for an Ang Lee film coming later this year.
I saw Fountain at an event in 2015 at a house in the Oak Cliff neighborhood that had been turned into a bookstore and cafe, called "The Wild Detectives", by a pair of Spaniards, Paco Vique and Javier Garcia del Moral. On a table were books from Deep Vellum Publishing, a publisher of translated works started by Will Evans, another transplant, a couple of years ago. Evans recently opened his own book shop in Deep Ellum, a few blocks away from where I and several thousand others shared a moment with Badu. I could go on. People used to leave Dallas to make their mark. But now they’re doing it here, and it has little to do with oil or personal brands.