Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Mike Davis


Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie

  • Title: Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie
  • Author: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Mike Davis
  • ISBN: 9780806137759
  • Page: 164
  • Format: Paperback



A classic in contemporary Oklahoma literature, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz s 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 aA classic in contemporary Oklahoma literature, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz s 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.


Recent Comments "Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie"

It pains me to give less than three stars to a memoir/biography; especially from one native Oklahoman to another. No matter one’s roots, a person’s life story always has worth whatever it entails. Whether or not I agree with someone’s ideologies, spiritual beliefs, or lifestyle choices is a minuscule point when it comes to critical evaluation and/or overall reading enjoyment. Therefore, let me make clear, my less than satisfactory rating reflects more upon mechanics, formatting, writing st [...]

An autobiography of a woman born in Oklahoma in 1938 during the depths of the Depression. She tells how the rural poor in Oklahoma lived through those hard years, and how she eventually left the state to become a professor in CA. She recounts the populist history of Oklahoma, mourning the loss of that social movement. The book would be better except for two problems. First, the author is somewhat whiney and sorry for herself. Having a mother who went through much worse and never complained, I fi [...]

As a lifelong Oklahoman of Cherokee descent, I often wonder what the hell my damn state's problem is. This same state produced me and my parents and my siblings and WE AREN'T LIKE THAT.I could go off on an extended tirade about what it's like to be a tiny blue fish in a red, red sea, but instead I'll just recommend that, if you also wonder what the hell is wrong with Oklahoma, you read this book as it offers substantial clues.

I read this as an "in between book" - between other books when I just needed to fill some reading time with a book I wasn't committed to. Thank goodness! This is the second memoir type story I've read in the last month that has left me so disappointed. I thought I would enjoy this book if not for any reason other than the references to my home state, along with several family generations, of Oklahoma. Throughout most of the book, I kept wondering which Oklahoma she was referring to, because the [...]

A somewhat rambling and unclearly politically charged biography of Roxie Dunbar, an Oklahoma native of the Dust Bowl years. Roxie starts telling a story, but then forgets to complete it in some cases; she talks about her hatred of her father, but never really explores the estrangement, which was actually from her abusive mother. She's conflicted in her beliefs even at the date of writing her memoirs. The reader can't get a clear view of what exactly it is, besides the ability to change viewpoint [...]

More like 3.5 stars. I'm a huge fan of her work, but not of this memoir. It seems to jump all over the place at points, with some segments seemingly being left unresolved to the point where it's confusing. I still think there are a lot of great little stories in here and I did enjoy reading about her journey growing up in Oklahoma, as I have ancestors who were Oakies, but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone due to it's sporadic nature.

If you want to read a self aggrandizing memoir about a white woman complaining about being "dark" and claiming "Indian" ancestry with no proof, plus seemingly coming off as post racial - here you go. I only finished this because I was stuck on an airplane.

this is the first of roxanne dunbar-ortiz's "how i became a radical" trilogy, all about growing up poor in oklahoma, being an indian, marrying young, taking off to california, discovering that her husband is kind of a total asshole, going to college, facing anti-okie prejudice, coming to terms with her indian heritage, & eventually deep-sixing the crummy husband in pursuit of higher education, feminism, self-actualization, & other dudes who seem a little cooler. i am probably focusing to [...]

The first piece of Dunbar-Ortiz's memoirs, Red Dirt describes her childhood and early adult years growing up in Oklahoma. It's a complex heritage, which involves both her Wobbly grandfather and the Red Scare, all complicated by her mother's racial heritage--a bit of Indian, but culturally almost entirely "white." Aware that her people are seen as Okies, white trash, Dunbar-Ortiz isn't presented with any easy paths out, but by the end of the novel, aided by an inspirational teacher, an uncle who [...]

This is important for Oklahomans. I think that we are all familiar with the various aspects of our statehood, but no one tells the stories. Roxanne does that for us. She gives voice to an unspoken past, the experience of the small-town Okie. Sure, there are novels describing the experience, but this is the first book I have read that gives a first-hand account of "Growing up Okie". Working back from her experience as a professor in California, Roxanne attempts to untangle the threads of her upbr [...]

I chose to read this book because of Okie. My bloodlines pass through Oklahoma and several of the subjects mentioned in her book (California, Dust Bowl, great depression) played roles in my family's life. The author's story is not unique to Oklahoma and could have occurred in any of the plains states. Thus there is nothing, at least from my read of this book, that makes Okie a causual relationship to growing up. This book then is part: 1e story of a child of tenant farmers growing up in poverty, [...]

i've been on a kick of reading memoirs written by other working class women. these memoirs tend to all have this similar feel to them. i can't quite explain it, but the way people ponder their relationships with and perceptions of their mother or father all have a similar feel to them. i guess it could be a complaint, but i hear my own voice in the pages almost. that's why i read it. i think this memoir is special because of her reflections on how her white community (and more broadly white work [...]

I picked this book up by chance in an indy bookstore in Natchez. Reading it prompted me to start writing a book I'd had in mind for about six months previous. I'd begun thinking about homecoming and rural culture since reading Sebald's Vertigo and McMurtry's Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen. I wanted to write about my own homecoming, a visit to the farm in Oklahoma I grew up on. I started writing my book at a coffee shop in Natchez and I'm still working on it. It's called Red Neck. Little Roxy [...]

Growing up Okie, this memoir is engaging, enlightening, and infused with historical/political outlook and awakening. The best memoirs are from partisans who aren’t afraid to look at their own life’s history and discuss relevant political/social issues. She traces her early years, ancestors, the pain and confusion of growing up in a land of class, race, and gender divisions/dilemas, conflicts, and paradoxes. Recommended, yeah.

A brilliant memoir by a friend of mine from my UN days in Geneva. While nothing at all like my mother's life, it reminded me so much of her and made me think about what stories my mother would tell if she sat down and started writing out her life from the very beginning. All the amazing, horrible, wonderful things.

The first part in Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz' autobiographical trilogy, Red Dirt is an honest and interesting portrayal of a semi-ordinary (I don't think that child abuse, parental addiction to alcohol, etc. are uncommon) Okie girl's childhood. Alone, Red Dirt is okay, as part of a trilogy, essential for better understanding of Dunbar-Ortiz' more interesting parts.

This autobiographical coming-of-age narrative explores the intersections of race, class and gender for a young girl growing up poor in rural Oklahoma. yet the book also provides a longer and wider history of Oklahoma's roots and the roots of the people of Oklahoma. Dunbar-Ortiz pays particular attention to histories of radicalism in the area.

A very thoughtful and descriptive biography. Paints a fantastic picture of growing up in Oklahoma (usa) during the period 1930,s-early 1960´s. For women, what a struggle.which continues. Highly recommend.

brilliant and ummm captivating? read like a novel though it's an autobiography. intelligent analysis of her life as well as larger forces around it. a bit dorothy allison-esque, in the best way possible.

I have been searching forever for a book about the history of Oklahoma and the struggles of working class folks, and when I found this book I got really excited. Its a really interesting/informative read, and really well written.

Extremely powerful, stunning history

I wanted to like this so badly, but it was boring, really boring.

A highly engaging, hard to put down memoir. although I think i enjoyed her other memoirs better, it makes sense how she became radical.

A really readable memoir.

This book made me miss Waukomis. Not sure how to put into words the feelings that collided throughout this book- only an Okie could understand!

An EXCELLENT true story of Roxanne's life growing up poor. I couldn't put it down.

Wonderful!!! Poetry to my okie heart.

Borrowed from WPLS. Wasn't what I expected.

The book started out more like a history book than a personal life story. Later on it got personal and was a nice read.

An angry book.


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    Posted by:Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Mike Davis
    Published :2018-09-20T21:31:40+00:00