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

The Stricklands
by Edwin Lanham

University of Oklahoma Press

2002, pp. 336
trade paperback
ISBN 0806134194

“There’s only seven inches of soil between us and starvation.”

Two brothers, tenant farmers, face losing their land in 1930s Oklahoma. While one brother looks toward the labor movement for justice, the other turns to stealing. A few days after the publication of this novel, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath hit the bookstores, eclipsing The Stricklands. This lost literary gem from 1939 is rediscovered in the University of Oklahoma Press reprinting.

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"The Stricklands is built out of the very soil of the Oklahoma hills. All the strange new melange that makes Oklahoma the strangest and most interesting of states are genetically part of the story. . . A week after reading it, The Stricklands leaves an impression of power, of remembered pleasure, of a good bet for the Pulitzer Prize."
—Oliver LaFarge, Saturday Review of Literature

"It is skillfully woven, exciting melodrama, highly flavored with the salt of social realism."
The Nation (1939)

"There is no book to lay beside it for comparison. The best elements of a labor story, of crime provoked through ignorance, of tragic love, and of family loyalty have been fused in the same book."
The New York Times (1939)

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About the Author

Information on Edwin Lanham is included in Lawrence Rodgers Introduction to the book.

Edwin Lanham bio from The Handbook of Texas Online

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