Sanora Babb

Official website for the author Sanora Babb


Sanora, born April 21, 1907, lived in Red Rock, Oklahoma when it was still Indian Territory. She liked to tell how the Otoe chief wanted to adopt her. Instead, when her father refused, the chief gave her a pinto pony and the name "Little Cheyenne Who Rides Like the Wind". All her life she maintained a great affinity with Native Americans and their culture.

Sanora, with her father Walter and mother Jennie moved to Waynoka, Oklahoma, where her sister Dorothy was born. Walter was a professional gambler and this necessitated the family's frequent moves from one small town to another. After several years in Waynoka, they returned to Red Rock.

Sanora and her sister, Dorothy, as pictured on a postcard addressed to their grandfather, Alonzo Babb in Two Buttes, Colorado, August 1911. It reads in part, "Dear Dad, Sanora has washed and hung this washing by herself. So I had her picture taken while she was working." (Sanora would have been four years old.)

Walter Babb and his daughter Sanora taken when the family lived in Waynoka, Oklahoma.

A more formal photo of Sanora and her sister taken before they moved to Baca County in Colorado to live in a one-room dugout. (The story of their life there is recounted in her memoir, An Owl on Every Post.)

Sanora with her sister, Dorothy, and their grandfather "Konkie" Alonzo Babb, taken in Forgan, OK 1923.

Jumping ahead several decades in this photographic chronology of Sanora's life. Here she is with her husband, James Wong Howe, in their Hollywood Hills home. Jimmie was an innovative and Oscar winning cinematographer.

More photos will be added over time.

Selected Works

“A memoir of literary and historical quality that well deserves this new edition.”
—Pulitzer Prize author
William Kennedy
Many readers and reviewers consider Babb’s Dust Bowl novel better than The Grapes of Wrath—more realistic, passionate, and insightful.

A gripping autobiographical novel of a professional gambler and his family set on the High Plains in the 1930s.
Non fiction
"This is a really exciting book . . . Some of the pictures alone are worth the price."--Lawrence Rodgers
Short stories
"Babb can sing, and convince us, at least for a while, that to touch bottom is to find hope."--Small Press Magazine
A collection of poems by this "lyric poet of great sensitivity."