Writing Out Loud, 2012

"A powerful novel in a mesmerizing prose."—New York Newsday

Rilla Askew

(1951– )

Award-winning novelist Rilla Askew has found the lyricism in Oklahoma’s complex history. Even as she focuses on the Trail of Tears, the Greenwood Race Riots, and the Dust Bowl, her eloquence, described by Publishers Weekly as “a pleasure to behold,” places those tragedies in a larger context.

Like N. Scott Momaday, she also incorporates a variety of narrative voices. For example, in her Depression-era novel Harpsong (2007), which many view as a rebuttal to The Grapes of Wrath, she includes “deepsong” and “folksay” passages that give the story mythic resonance.

Related listings: N. Scott Momaday and Anna Myers

Did You Know...

Rilla Askew describes her penchant for wearing distinctive boots as "boot lust."

Getting Started with Rilla Askew

Selected Works

The Mercy Seat, 1997
Fire in Beulah, 2001
Harpsong, 2007

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