Sanora Babb

Official website for the author Sanora Babb

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The Lost Traveler

Against the dark background of Des Tannehill’s declining fortunes stand Robin’s high spirits and intelligence as she experiences the turbulent emotions of first sexual love and rebels against the circumstances of the gambler’s rambling life. The novel’s depiction of Depression-era America and its lost families is one that will haunt readers long after the final page.

This long out of print novel, originally published in 1958, has just been republished by Muse Ink Press. Readers of Sanora Babb's memoir, An Owl on Every Post, will appreciate this largely autobiographical novel of her young adult years and entry into womanhood.

“There is a good deal of laughter in The Lost Traveler. There is a good deal of tragedy in it, too, for Miss Babb has given us a living and unflinchingly honest picture of a wandering gambler and his family. This is her first novel and she shows herself to be a searching storyteller.”
New York Times

“Sanora Babb has done a remarkable job of making the hero, Des Tannehill, sympathetic and understandable in spite of his occupation and occasional brutality. In fact, she has made the whole Tannehill family come alive, particularly Robin, the older daughter, the only member of the family with fortitude enough to stand up to her father.”
Los Angeles Mirror News

“Strongly recommended. A fascinating story of a professional nomadic gambler who starts by being a hero in the eyes of his wife and daughters and ends in lonely disgrace: occasionally embarrassing, frequently funny, and as an account of the development of family relationships good by any standards.”
London Sunday Times

“Sanora Babb’s novel is spare and accurate in its depiction of the ferocity of family feelings and the soul of the gambling man.”
—Mary Clearman Blew, author of All But the Waltz.

Selected Works

Memoir
“A memoir of literary and historical quality that well deserves this new edition.”
—Pulitzer Prize author
William Kennedy
Fiction
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
Poetry
A collection of poems by this "lyric poet of great sensitivity."