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This Stubborn Soil: An autobiographical chronicle of frontier life in twentieth century Texas - and the story of a boy in search of something beyond a one-room school
This Stubborn Soil An autobiographical chronicle of frontier life in twentieth century Texas - and the story of a boy in search of something beyond a one-room school Author:William A. Owens In this remarkable autobiography, William Owens gives an account of his childhood and youth in Texas. Born in Pin Hook, not far from the Oklahoma border, Mr. Owens eloquently records a frontier life that seems incredible in the twentieth century - a struggle with desperate poverty, with the land, and above all a struggle to gain an education. ... more »His father died when he was three days old, and it was his mother's huge duty to keep the family together and enable them to survive. At one time four generations lived in the little house (among them the grandmother who could not read or write); and then the family moved from place to place, in search of better land and schools. Surely no contemporary book describes so movingly the efforts of a backwoods boy to find schooling and his delight in the discovery of literature.
The story is told in short, vivid chapters, each one an episode, all of them beautifully controlled, unsentimental, and informed by precise recall. The nature of the experience varies gr4eatly - from a tense account of the dreaded flu; to a description of blowing off steam at Christmastime, told with wry country humor; to a fine sequence giving a small boy's pleasure in the world of growing things. This Stubborn Soil holds the reader, and warms and inspirits him. It is an important book, about a profoundly American experience.« less