Sanora Babb

Official website for the author Sanora Babb

Books

An Owl on Every Post
A memoir of how the author experienced pioneer life in a one-room dugout, eye-level with the land that supported, tormented and beguiled her; where her family fought for their lives against drought, crop-failure, starvation, and almost unfathomable loneliness. Learning to read from newspapers that lined the dugout’s dirt walls, she grew up to be a journalist, then a writer of unforgettable books.

Whose Names Are Unknown
A clear-eyed and unsentimental story of the Dunne family as they struggle to survive in the Oklahoma Panhandle while never losing faith in themselves. Even when they flee to California and face even worse circumstances as migrant workers. Written with empathy for their plight, this powerful narrative is based upon the author’s firsthand experiences of the dust storms and migrant camps in California.

The Lost Traveler
This novel of a gambler and his family has many autobiographical echoes. The father, a complex and magnetic man, is portrayed from the perspective of his willful and proud daughter Robin. This rich character study of the classic American individualist also presents a picture, rare at the time of its original publication, of a brave, self-reliant young woman.

On the Dirty Plate Trail: Remembering the Dust Bowl Refugee Camps
A vivid, firsthand account of the migrant labor camps in California in the 1930s from Sanora Babb's field notes and her sister Dorothy's photographs. Edited with an introduction and commentaries by Douglas Wixson.

Cry of the Tinamou
A selection of 15 short stories, two of which have been widely anthologized and two others written specifically for this volume.

Told in the Seed
A collection of poems by this "lyric poet of great sensitivity."

Writings on Sanora Babb


Regionalists on the Left: Radical Voices from the American West
Editor Michael C. Steiner has assembled a group of distinguished scholars who explore the lives and works of sixteen progressive western intellectuals, authors, and artists, ranging from nationally prominent figures such as John Steinbeck and Carey McWilliams to lesser-known writers such as Carlos Bulosan. Chapter 5 is Radical by Nature: Sanora Babb and Ecological Disaster on the High Plains, 1900-40.

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."