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NEW BOOKS • • • All of Sanora Babb's work is now in print!
Just published are new collections: Told in the Seed and Selected Poems and The Dark Earth and Selected Prose from the Great Depression. Also, a second edition of her short story collection Cry of the Tinamou. Importantly, a first-ever collection of essays, Unknown No More: Recovering Sanora Babb,by distinguished researchers and scholars explore Babb's life and work. This path-breaking book addresses her position within the literature of the Great Plains and American West, her leftist political odyssey, gender roles, and her eco-feminist leanings as reflected in the environmental themes she explored in her fiction and nonfiction. 
"These books demonstrate the continuing relevance of Babb's themes of ecology, feminism, migration, and racial injustice."
--New York Review of Books, August 19, 2021

Books by Sanora Babb

The Dark Earth and Selected Prose from the Depression Era

A new collection of short stories and journalism by Sanora Babb, written between 1932 and 1949, that brings to life the painful period of the Great Depression. Arranged chronologically, from early autobiographical short fiction to her leftist journalism and later more innovative fiction, Babb's work interweaves fiction and non-fiction into her characteristic storytelling, lyrical style.

Told in the Seed and Selected Poems

Sanora Babb published her first poem at fourteen in the Forgan Eagle. She continued to write and publish poetry from the 1920s to the early '90s. Told in the Seed and Selected Poems, offers a comprehensive selection from Babb's more than sixty years of writing and publishing poetry. Over half of the added poems to her first collection, Told in the Seed, are her earlier poems and balance that of the original collection taken from her later years. 

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 the Dust Bowl 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 in the late 1930s.

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. Introduction by Alan Wald.

The Lost Traveler

This novel of a gambler and his family is almost entirely autobiographical. 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 (1958), of a brave, self-reliant young woman.

On the Dirty Plate Trail: Remembering the Dust Bowl Refugee Camps

A vivid, firsthand account of the FSA 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.




Resources on Sanora Babb

Unknown No More: Recovering Sanora Babb

A collection of essays by distinguished scholars and researchers that explore the life and work of Sanora Babb. They address her position within the litrature of the Great Plains and American West, her leftist political odyssey, and her ecofeminist leanings as reflected in the environmental themes in her fiction and nonfiction. (University of Oklahoma Press, 2021)

Ain't Got No Home: America's Great Migrations and the Making of an Interracial Left

Erin Royston Battat devotes an entire chapter to Sanora Babb and her novel Whose Names Are Unknown. She writes: Babb’s subject matter was close to her heart; she wrote about rural people in her native region of the high plains. "These were the people I knew all my life, [Babb] wrote . . . I knew them and lived with them through the hard pioneering days of breaking new land, of more prosperous days, of the early depression years.” (University of North Carolina Press, 2014)

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, Radical by Nature: Sanora Babb and Ecological Disaster on the High Plains, 1900-40, is by Douglas Wixson. He writes: "Her radical regionalist voice foregrounds and dignifies the ordinary and gives expression to timeless social injustices such as homelessness, poverty, discrimination, inequality, economic hardship, and repression of dissent."(University of Oklahoma Press, 2013)