A classic in contemporary Oklahoma literature, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizs Red Dirt unearths the joys and ordeals of growing up poor during the 1940s and 1950s. In this exquisite rendering of her childhood in rural Oklahoma, from the Dust Bowl days to the end of the Eisenhower era, the author bears witness to a family and community that still cling to the dream of America as a republic of landowners.
Now a professor of ethnic studies in California, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz turns her eye back to her own roots as a "Dust Bowl Baby" in rural Oklahoma. In telling the story of her family and their hardships in the Depression, Dunbar-Ortiz introduces the reader to some fascinating characters who are certainly not the "white trash" caricatures of popular belief. Interspersed well with her own story are historical facts that give depth to the narrative and correct popular misconceptions about "Okies" (some of which were popularized by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath