Books That Inspire 2011

Rilla Askew

Harpsong inspired me to reconnect with the stories my great-grandparents told about survival in Depression-era Oklahoma. This book revolves around love, history, folk tradition, and adventure. It is the tale of a harmonica-playing troubadour and his young wife travelling around the Great Plains in a perpetual figure eight, continually returning to Oklahoma. They encountered dust storms, hobo jungles, and bank robberies, yet no hardship proved too much to endure. With the turn of each page, Rilla Askew shapes a vivid image of an age and place that were once only stories, but have now become passed-down memories for me.

Clay Wesley
Project Manager and Student Programs Supervisor
Graduate College