Texas bottom lands -- the background of Hold Autumn in Your Hand in a beguiling collection of stories about the people of Hackberry, and particularly of Edgar Selfridge, who knew all about fishing and dogs and pretty girls, and who could not resist helping people in a jam -- a sort of Texas Don Quixote. We meet again some of the characters of the earlier book, the Tuckers and Corinth and Henry Devers -- but there is less unity in plot structure, more a sense of folk legends in the making. Granny is still vigorous and trouble making -- refreshing but at a distance. The stories are uneven in interest, but some of them are absolutely topnotch Americana: -- May the Dew Be Heavy, in which Obie Terry's beloved Tater wins the right to sire a new strain of pups; Wooden Wedding, in which Polecat engineers a woodcutting contest and wins a wife: Edgar and the Beaver Tail Schism, in which a feud is healed and a song contest won; these are my favorites of the lot. Good human bits of flotsam and jetsam -- poverty which is never sordid -- and an incurable rest for living against odds that would faze the citybred-such is the stuff of which these stories are made.