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Resources on Sanora Babb

The Nature of California: Race, Citizenship, and Farming since the Dust Bowl 


By Sarah D. Wald


Sarah Wald offers a new way of thinking through questions of national belonging by probing the relationships among race, labor, and land ownership. She delivers "brilliant new insights" from her reading of literary, archival, and popular-culture objects which makes for a unique and provocative book. Of particular interest is the chapter she devotes to an in-depth analysis of Sanora Babb's Whose Names Are Unknown and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. (University of Washington Press 2016)



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

By Erin Royston Battat

Erin Royston Battat devotes an entire chapter to Sanora Babb and her novel Whose Names Are Unknown: Chapter 2 "An Oakie is Me." 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." Within the chapter Battat addresses populism, regionalism, and gender in Babb's novel and her vision of interracial unionism. (University of North Carolina Press 2014)



Regionalists on the Left: Radical Voices from the American West

Editor Michael C. Steiner

A group of distinguished scholars 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 Five is "Radical by Nature: Sanora Babb and Ecological Disaster on the High Plains, 1900-1940."  (University of Oklahoma Press 2013)



Worker-Writer in America

By Douglas Wixson

This scholarly biography of Jack Conroy also gives a detailed history of an important group of Midwestern radical writers of the 1920s and 1930s. It provides the context for Sanora Babb's early writing career. She was interviewed for the book and is referenced in several chapters. (University of Illinois Press 1994)





Harry Ransom Center web exhibition


Film clip from Ken Burns PBS Dust Bowl documentary


Smithsonian article: The Forgotten Dust Bowl Novel that Rivaled "The Grapes of Wrath"


Summary of her life from Ransom Center Press Release


Rediscovering a National Treasure: ForeWord Magazine article


Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System YouTube video