Books That Inspire 2008

Rilla Askew

Last year I re-read The Grapes of Wrath for the Centennial. When I read Harpsong recently I was touched again by the spirit of the people of Oklahoma. Rilla Askew takes us on a journey back to the Depression and shows us a clear and unwavering portrayal of the people that stayed in Oklahoma during that period; unlike those that left for “golden promises.” Sometimes it was so painful you wanted to “look away” but the author showed us their strength and humanity. Through all the hardships, the main character limps along, playing his harmonica with his child bride and enables us and the characters in the book, to see the situations for what they really were. Once again I am deeply impressed by the character and determination of our ancestors. The will to survive is amazing. I have even more appreciation and respect for the people that settled here in Oklahoma and helped shape its future.

Dee R Fisher
Staff Assistant III
Naval Science