Whose Names Are Unknown

Whose Names Are Unknown

A Novel

Book - 2004
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The poor but proud Dunne family and their friends struggle to survive on the dust-plagued prairies of the Oklahoma Panhandle, but discover bitter disappointment in the orchards and vineyards of the so-called promised land of California. Originally written in the 1930's based upon the author's firsthand experiences.
Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2004
Characteristics: xiii, 222 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780806135793 (alk. paper)
0806135794 (alk. paper)
9780806137124 (pbk.)
0806137126 (pbk.)


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Librarian_Deb May 22, 2017

This book closely examines how the events of the dust bowl affects the Dunne family. It starts by showing how they are eking out a living as farmers in the Oklahoma panhandle. They have neighbors who are doing better than them, but then they are doing better than some. Their one room dugout is cramped but they still rejoice in the hope a new baby brings when Mrs. Dunne discovers she is pregnant. But then the drought and storms start to come, Mrs. Dunne loses the baby, and they are forced to think about abandoning their farm just so they can survive. Just like refugees all throughout history, they pack up their car and head west. As they go from camp to camp following the crops that need to be picked, they are mistreated, called names, and cheated over and over again.
This book is a serious look at the hardships of the dust bowl, and as such it is not an easy read. Yet is is a powerful portrayal of those times and the issues faced, and our book group found a lot to talk about after we read it, even though most of us struggled to get through it.

Sep 02, 2014

A very interesting book. Similar to The Grapes of Wrath but more oriented to the struggles of people before they left the dust bowl.

Jun 18, 2014

I should not have read the preface!
I was fascinated by this book as it was written at the same time Grapes of Wrath hit the shelves. Publishers held it due to the success of Grapes of Wrath, believing the market could not support two similar stories. This is not to be compared to Grapes of Wrath, which is a classic, a masterpiece.

This is a more factual account of the hardships endured during the severe dust storms during the great depression in the US. It is a look at the struggle of farmers as they move west searching for a better climate, more money and less challenges. It is their struggle to assist in creating unions to bring fairness to the farmers and their families. Accept the book for what it is, a story along with some authentic diary accounts -- and not for what it's not; a sibling if you like to Grapes of Wrath. The two can not be compared.

emily8 May 30, 2013

highly recommended - writer's ability to engage us in lives of her characters is a thing of beauty - not to be missed...

Mary43 Feb 02, 2013

An incredible and fascinating look into life during the depression dust bowl era. Both in Iowa And in California trying to find work after the crops fail. I felt I was living with the families and struggling right along with them.


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