The First Six-Pack
Nominations for the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma Book for 2004

Red Dirt:
Growing Up Okie

by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz


1997, pp. 224
trade paperback
ISBN 1859841627

“Just below the skin that I show the world resides a peasant girl who absorbed ancient memories of the land.”

Revisiting origins is a cherished literary tradition and often a cathartic experience for the author. In Red Dirt, Dunbar-Ortiz fearlessly confronts the shame, anger and pride associated with growing up poor in rural Oklahoma. In the process, she comes to terms with her past and with what it means to be an “Okie.”

Read an Excerpt courtesy of Verso

An Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on Growing Up Okie

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About the Author

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"At once sweetly nostalgic and inexorably grim, a true study of light and dark."
Village Voice

"With all its passion and pain, this is a fascinating snapshot of rural American life."
Publishers Weekly

"Dunbar-Ortiz's most important achievement is to put class back on the rural map where it belongs."
Los Angeles Times

"Dunbar-Ortiz reminds those of us who struggle for social justice of all that is at stake. . . Red Dirt is a testament to her talents as a researcher, a writer and a storyteller."
—Sheila Tully, Bay Guardian

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About the Author

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is Professor of Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies at California State University. She is author of Roots of Resistance: Land Tenure in New Mexico, The Great Sioux Nation and Indians of the Americas. Both Red Dirt, and the second volume of Dunbar-Ortiz's memoir, Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975, were Oklahoma Book Award finalists.

Dunbar-Ortiz on Growing Up Okie

Dunbar-Ortiz on Growing Up an Outlaw Woman

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