Sunday, June 28, 2015

Library of America Story of the Week Read-Along 283: Caroline Henderson, Letter from the Dust Bowl (#283)

Caroline Henderson, "Letter from the Dust Bowl" (1936) from American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau:

A first-person account from the Dust Bowl, by a farmer who kept up a little side-line in column writing for a while. Caroline Henderson actually chose to be a farmer, it seems, after a near-death experience convinced her to follow her girlhood dream. Which is a fascinating bit of backstory for a rather short and uncompelling account of the Dust Bowl.

Not a lot going on here, though there are one or two details that are interesting, mostly about her tone when it comes to government aid programs and how those who believe in refusing government dictates are actually damaging everyone. (In this case, the aid program involves plowing the soil along the contour, so as to lessen erosion; and those who continue to plow straight are making the airborne dust worse.)

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