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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Alice Covert
(2012.201.B0243.0557, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).

COVERT, ALICE LENT (1913–1986).

Novelist Alice Lent Covert was born on April 8, 1913, in Winfield, Kansas. Her parents were Thomas H. and Neva (Parry) Lent. Because her father was a Methodist minister, the family moved numerous times. When they settled in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1926, she attended schools at Boise City and Forgan. While studying journalism and psychology at Panhandle A&M College (Oklahoma Panhandle State University), she married Fred Covert on June 27, 1930, during her freshman year. The Coverts had one son, Dale Lowell Covert, born in 1932. In 1934 they moved to Lawton, and Alice worked as a reporter for Lawton newspapers and helped found the Lawton Writers' Club.

Alice Covert's writing career started at age sixteen when the Wichita Beacon published her first story. During her teens she worked part-time for a weekly newspaper and published a high school newsletter. Her first novel, Return to Dust (1939), portrayed an Oklahoma Panhandle family's struggle to survive the Dust Bowl. Unlike John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, her book told the story of Oklahomans who stayed rather than those who migrated to California. She wrote from experience, having lived through the Dust Bowl and contracted dust pneumonia. Her second novel, The Months of Rain (1941), presented the plight of farmers following World War I, with the setting in the opposite corner of the state, in the Kiamichi Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma. She presented contemporary issues facing farmers, such as soil erosion and federal aid.

In addition to novels, Covert wrote short stories for detective and popular magazines. She also enjoyed playing the piano, composing music, painting, and fishing. The Coverts moved several times, living in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in Texas. Alice Covert later married Donald I. Watson on August 13, 1959, in Sonoma, California. She continued to live in California until her death on February 12, 1986, in the town of Riverside.

Linda D. Wilson


"Alice Lent Covert," Vertical File, Oklahoma Room, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City.

Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 13 April 1941.

Lawton (Oklahoma) Constitution, 20 August 1939.

Anne Hodges Morgan, "Oklahoma in Literature," in Oklahoma: New Views of the Forty-Sixth State, ed. Anne Hodges Morgan and H. Wayne Morgan (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982).

Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 23 March 1941.


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Linda D. Wilson, “Covert, Alice Lent,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=CO074.

Published January 15, 2010
Last updated January 25, 2017

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