Saturday, July 14, 2012

Woody Guthrie Novel to Be Published

House of Earth, thought to have languished for years in a closet, is said to be influenced by Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

From a story in the Guardian...

House of Earth is Guthrie's only "fully realised" novel, they said, influenced by his experiences in America's Dust Bowl, as well as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Tracing the story of Tike and Ella May Hamlin, "hardscrabble farmers" in Texas, it is a "searing portrait of the Panhandle and its marginalised Great Depression residents". Despite a slightly esoteric focus on the importance of adobe housing, House of Earth also includes graphic sex, including "a scorching lovemaking scene on a hay bale".

At the time of its writing, Guthrie apparently shared House of Earth's first chapter with musicologist Alan Lomax, who called it "quite simply the best material I'd ever seen written about that section of the country". But Guthrie only showed the finished manuscript to one person, film-maker Irving Lerner, and it languished for decades in a Coney Island closet. After learning of its existence in the late 90s, Brinkley finally tracked down the manuscript last year, with help from Guthrie's daughter, Nora.

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