By Kayla Randall
On October 11, Amarillo Reads and Friends of the Amarillo Public Library featured Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time, a novel about the worst ecological disaster ever to hit the United States, the Dust Bowl. The event was one in a series leading up to the documentary The Dust Bowl, by Ken Burns, inspired by Egan’s novel.
In his lecture, Egan said he was inspired to tell the story of those who survived the Dust Bowl in his travels through the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. He was looking for a new story to tell, and the people he met along the way were very welcoming and hospitable. Egan felt that the stories of the generation that lived through the Great Depression are those that aren’t told enough.
“If any of you have grandparents that are still living, sit them down and ask them about this time. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by,” Egan said at the beginning of his lecture.
He went on to talk about a few of the people he interviewed while writing the novel, and also about the history of the Dust Bowl area, how it was settled and the cause of the disaster that struck in the 1930s.
“It’s the classic American consumer story,” Egan said. “When we carry on thinking the good times will never end and then they suddenly do.”