Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, House of Earth is legendary folk singer and American icon Woody Guthrie’s only finished novel. A powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, it’s the story of an ordinary couple’s dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.
Tike and Ella May Hamlin are struggling to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas panhandle. The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements. Thanks to a five-cent government pamphlet, Tike has the know-how to build a simple adobe dwelling, a structure made from the land itself—fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl-proof. A house of earth.
A story of rural realism and progressive activism, and in many ways a companion piece to Guthrie’s folk anthem “This Land Is Your Land,” House of Earth is a searing portrait of hardship and hope set against a ravaged landscape. Combining the moral urgency and narrative drive of John Steinbeck with the erotic frankness of D. H. Lawrence, here is a powerful tale of America from one of our greatest artists.
An essay by bestselling historian Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp introduce House of Earth, the inaugural title in Depp’s imprint at HarperCollins, Infinitum Nihil.
About Woody GuthrieSee more books from this Author
“House of Earth” is well constructed, like a good song or house should be, but it’s also a bit flawed and unruly, exactly the way American literature has always been.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune
Pithy, primal and raw with emotion, HOUSE OF EARTH is written more as a poetic narrative than what one would consider a structured novel. If you are not familiar with Guthrie’s legendary music, lyrics, poetry, essays and memoirs, his portrayal of the American spirit of the humble man and his legacy is worth exploring.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
...with Guthrie's ear for language and eye for human passions, House of Earth is an engaging and poetic story...Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
Perhaps there could be a new “Folk” section in the Bad Sex in Fiction awards...Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
The likelihood of its becoming a classic of American literature is less than one might have hoped.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
...there is a surprising electricity in House of Earth...if he had given the art form more time, Guthrie might have become a great novelist.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
House of Earth becomes an invaluable addition to the literature of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, one with an eerie relevance in today’s America.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
...a keen ear for dialogue, a deep sense of empathy, sharp powers of observation and a lyrical way with words.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
The second half of the book is as chaotic as the first half is stagnant.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
The book is a treasure and a pleasure for Guthrie enthusiasts, but it's hardly an American classic.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
...a tribute to the author, that a novel set in the 1930s, written in the 1940s, and just now published, is still relevant.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
In House of Earth, Woody is still there, he's still singing out like the radio, and his voice is just as "powerful, moving, ruggedly beautiful, honest, and complete" as ever.Read Full Review of House of Earth: A Novel
An aggregated and normalized score based on 96 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes