House of Earth
Author: Woody Guthrie
Edited and introduced by Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp
Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, House of Earth is Woody's only fully realized novel - a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness. It is the story of an ordinary couple's dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.
Tike and Ella May Hamlin struggle to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas Panhandle. The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements. Thanks to a five-cent government pamphlet, Tike has the know-how to build a simple adobe dewlling, a structure made from the land itself - fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl-proof. A house of earth.
Though they are one with the farm and with each other, the land on which they live and work is not their own. Due to larger forces beyond their control - including ranching conglomerates and banks - their adobe house remains painfully out of reach. A story of rural realism and progressive activism, and in many ways a companion piece to Guthrie's folk anthem "This Land Is Your Land, " House of Earth is a searing portrait of hardship and hope set against a ravaged landscape.
6.25" x 9.25". Infinitum Nihil/Harper Collins. 234 pages. 2013.