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 Sanora Babb

Sanora Babb

Birth
Red Rock, Noble County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 31 Dec 2005 (aged 98)
Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 12937809 · View Source
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Author. She was born in Otoe Indian Community in Oklahoma and died in her home in Hollywood Hills, California. She is best remembered for her book "Whose Names Are Unknown," an acutely observed chronicle of one family's flight from the drought and dust storms of the high plains to the migrant camps of California during the 1930s. She was the widow of Oscar-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe, whom she dated in the 1940s in defiance of California's anti-miscegenation laws. Babb wrote five books, including a novelized memoir, a volume of poetry and a collection of short stories. Two of her stories were chosen for the 1950 and 1960 editions of the distinguished anthology series "Best American Short Stories," edited by Martha Foley. At the beginning of her career, she eventually found a job as a radio scriptwriter and wrote stories and poems that appeared in literary magazines, including the Prairie Schooner, the Anvil and Southwest Review. Many of her friends were struggling writers, including William Saroyan, John Fante, Carlos Bulosan, John Sanford, Meridel Le Sueur and Ralph Ellison. Babb joined the Communist Party and, like many other left-leaning writers of her generation, sought foreign adventures, visiting the Soviet Union in 1936 and reporting on the Spanish Civil War for the British journal This Week. Over the next decade, Babb edited literary magazines that helped introduce the work of Bradbury and B. Traven, author of "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," among others. During the 1940s, Babb ran a Chinese restaurant that Howe owned in North Hollywood. In 1950, during the heat of the communist witch hunts, she spent more than a year in Mexico. During her self-imposed exile, she completed "The Lost Traveler," inspired by her complex relationship with her father. Issued in 1958, it was her first published novel. Her other books include "An Owl on Every Post," a 1970 memoir of her childhood in the Colorado wilderness that William Fadiman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, called "an evocative glimpse of a vanished era"; "Cry of the Tinamou," a 1997 compilation of short stories; and "Told in the Seed," a 1998 collection of poems.

Bio by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni


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  • Created by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni
  • Added: 9 Jan 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12937809
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sanora Babb (21 Apr 1907–31 Dec 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12937809, ; Maintained by José L Bernabé Tronchoni (contributor 46500104) Unknown.