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

Way Down Yonder
in the Indian Nation

Writings from America's Heartland
by Michael Wallis

St. Martin's Press

1993, pp. 251
trade paperback
ISBN 0312152426

“The new state, like a precocious child, was impatient to step forward. Oklahoma’s long search for identity had begun.”

Wallis has traveled across this great state in search of the elusive Oklahoma identity. Here he serves up sixteen essays he calls some of his “favorite spoonfuls” of Oklahoma. Subjects are as diverse as the state: Okemah’s relationship with native son Woody Guthrie, Tulsa’s Art Deco architecture, the famous 101 Ranch, Route 66, and Pretty Boy Floyd.

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Way Down Yonder was a selection of the Oklahoma Book Club

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"One of Wallis’s strong suits is his ability to convey the collision between Oklahoma’s frontier origins and its role in the modern world ... well-researched and sympathetic view of the American heartland."
— Kirkus Review

"Seeking to shatter some of the stereotypes and to find the essence of our 46th state, Wallis offers an engaging piece on Americans."
—Publishers Weekly

". . .this volume is readable and rich with lesser-known stories that become patches roughly sewn into the American quilt."

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About the Author

Michael Wallis is renowned for his writing about Oklahoma, its history, its rich heritage, and its people. His books about the Sooner State include:

Route 66: The Mother Road
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People
Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd
Oil Man: The Story of Frank Phillips and The Birth of Phillips Petroleum
Beyond the Hills: The Journey of Waite Phillips
Oklahoma Crossroads—with photographer David Fitzgerald
The Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West

A resident of Tulsa, Wallis has presented Oklahoma history in a popular format that appeals to readers from all backgrounds. His works have been nominated for the National Book Award and on three occasions for the Pulitzer Prize. In 1981, he was selected as the number one feature writer by the Florida Magazine Association. He has won other prestigious awards and honors, including the 1994 Lynn Riggs Award from Rogers State University in Claremore. In 1996, Wallis was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame, and in 1994 he was named the first inductee into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame. Wallis was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame in 1999.

Michael Wallis biography from the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame site

The Michael Wallis Home Page

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