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Mon Dec 12, 2011, 12:30 PM

Oklahoma Literature -- what are your favorite books about Oklahoma?

When I think about Oklahoma in literature, three specific books come to mind: The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton), Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls), and Sundown (John Joseph Mathews). The first two many people are likely familiar with (if not through the books than the film adaptations), but the third is perhaps not as well known.

Sundown is about an Osage man who goes to the University of Oklahoma and then serves in World War I before returning to his home. (Itís fascinating, if youíre an OU fan or alum, to read the parts of the book detailing the campus and community in the 1910s.) It is set against the oil boom of the early 20th century, and the turmoil that created within the Osage community and with white folks outside the community who sought to get hold of the resultant wealth. Itís a great book and when it was published in 1934 it was one of the very first published novels written by a Native American. Anyone here read it?

So what are your favorite books about Oklahoma or by Oklahomans?


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Reply Oklahoma Literature -- what are your favorite books about Oklahoma? (Original post)
fishwax Dec 2011 OP
yesphan Dec 2011 #1
fishwax Dec 2011 #4
OKNancy Dec 2011 #2
fishwax Dec 2011 #3
OKNancy Dec 2011 #5
Z_I_Peevey Dec 2011 #6

Response to fishwax (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 01:20 PM

1. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

about Oklahomans.

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Response to yesphan (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 05:57 PM

4. Definitely a great book -- I've known many Oklahomans who hated it

because they felt the book mistreated Oklahomans, but I think Steinbeck's heart was clearly with the Okie. He never lived in Oklahoma (AFAIK, he'd never even been there when he wrote the book, and so some of his descriptions are a bit off), but his grandparents, IIRC, were from there.

And, of course, it has one of the great monologues in American literature:

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Response to fishwax (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 06:14 PM

2. Michael Wallis, Billie Letts

has written about Route 66, and 101 Ranch and other books.

Billie Letts writes wonderful fiction - Where the Heart Is, her first and best IMO and her son

Tracy Letts wrote August: Osage County (2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) The play won a Tony.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 05:54 PM

3. I loved Where the Heart Is

Didn't enjoy Honk and Holler, quite as much, but I might give it another shot somewhere down the line. And I've had Shoot the Moon on my bookshelf for a while but just haven't gotten to it yet. (I have way more books than would be health .)

I haven't read Tracy Letts or Michael Wallis, but I'm a Route 66 fan so perhaps I'll seek him out.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 06:00 PM

5. The Wallis book is titled

The Mother Road ( I think... this is from memory..lol )

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Response to fishwax (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 08:07 PM

6. Fire in Beulah

by Rilla Askew. Just can't say enough good things about this book. About the Tulsa riot. A true masterpiece.

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