Ex-teacher’s book recalls Dust Bowl days
HUDSON, Wis. — Norma (Wubbels) Welty, former Hudson English teacher, will sign copies of her award-winning novel, “The Dirty Days,” based on her life growing up in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at Chapter2Books, 422 Second St. in Hudson.
Welty’s book is the winner of her publisher’s Editor’s Choice and Rising Star Awards. Welty, 87, grew up in the Oklahoma in the 1930s. At age 20, she moved to Baldwin, Wis., and later taught English in both Baldwin and Hudson.
Welty says she always knew she needed to write a book about what it was like growing up in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.
“I wrote my book because I needed to laud the courageous, persevering men, women and their children who didn’t flee Oklahoma, but instead stuck it out through the 1930s debilitating dust storms and poverty,” Welty said. ”I wanted to go beyond simply telling about the courage and perseverance of the people in that time and place. I needed to show intimately the impact of those very difficult times in their day-by-day lives.
Welty’s novel, classified historical fiction, takes readers into the home, neighborhood, community and school life in order to show the impact of those difficult times on the human psyche. It’s a book for both adults, male and female, as well as young adult readers and is narrrated by a young girl as she grows up.
Welty’s book was published in June, and she said it seemed uncanny when she learned shortly after her book was published that Ken Burns’ two-part documentary on the Dust Bowl would air on PBS at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19.