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House of Earth – Original Manuscript on Exhibit

We are pleased to announce that we will have the original typed manuscript, House Of Earth, completed by Woody Guthrie in 1947, on exhibit at the Woody Guthrie Center from March – July 2014. This document is on loan from The University of Tulsa, and we are delighted to partner with them in sharing it with you. To quote from Woody Guthrie Publication’s website:

Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, House of Earth is Woody’s only fully realized novel – a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness. It is 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 struggle 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 dewlling, a structure made from the land itself – fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl-proof. A house of earth.

Though they are one with the farm and with each other, the land on which they live and work is not their own. Due to larger forces beyond their control – including ranching conglomerates and banks – their adobe house remains painfully out of reach. 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.  (

Along with the novel we will also be exhibiting original artwork created by Woody Guthrie in the late 1940s (featured in the published novel) and the original 1934 government pamphlet on building adobe structures.

For more information please see:

Woody Guthrie Publications-

The University of Tulsa’s Special Collections and University Archives-