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Tulsa City-County Library invites Tulsa County residents to participate in “One Book, One Tulsa” by reading folk hero Woody Guthrie’s only fully realized novel, “House of Earth.” Book discussions and a free concert also are planned to complement the communitywide reading initiative.
Set in Pampa, Texas, during the Dust Bowl, this earthy book uses lyrical language to paint a portrait of hardship and hope. Sharecroppers Tike and Ella May Hamlin don’t ask for much, just a house that can withstand the brutal cold and relentless dust storms that assault their crumbling wooden shack, and a little piece of land on which they can grow their own food. Longing to build with his own hands a sturdy house made of earthen bricks, Tike battles the elements and the oppression of Big Agriculture while living and loving passionately.
Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, “House of Earth” illuminates themes that are still relevant today, and is written with powerful, poetic prose that perfectly complements Guthrie’s musical legacy. Copies of “House of Earth” are available for checkout through the Tulsa City-County Library.
After reading the novel, expand your “One Book, One Tulsa” experience by joining other readers to discuss “House of Earth” at the Bixby Library, 20 E. Breckenridge, on Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. and Helmerich Library, 5131 E. 91st St., on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
To complement “One Book, One Tulsa,” Tulsa City-County Library will host “The Woody Guthrie Center Red Dirt Roundup” on Thursday, Aug. 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Central Library, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue, on the second floor. This free concert will feature the Red Dirt style of music pioneered by Guthrie himself. Come and enjoy the uniquely Oklahoma sound of the Red Dirt Rangers and Monica Taylor as they salute Guthrie’s musical talent. All ages are welcome to attend.
“One Book, One Tulsa” is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust and the Woody Guthrie Center. For more information about “One Book, One Tulsa” and related programming, call 918-549-7323 or visit http://tulsalibrary.org/onebookonetulsa. For more information about Tulsa’s new Woody Guthrie Center, located at 102 E. Brady St., call 918-574-2710 or visit http://woodyguthriecenter.org.