Many Notable Books and Movies have Oklahoma Ties

September 25, 2019

Books by Oklahoma AuthorsThrough the years quite a few published books have been at least partially set in Oklahoma. In fact, Goodreads has identified a total of 158 books, fiction and non-fiction, with ties to the Sooner state. Obviously, that’s far too many to discuss here, but some of the more notable books on that list include: True Grit by Charles Portis First published in 1968 as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post, this novel is told from the perspective of Mattie Ross, who reminisces about when, as a 14-year-old, she sought retribution against “the scoundrel” Tom Chaney for the murder of her father. This book has also been made into a movie twice. The first, released in 1969, starred John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby. The second, directed by the Coen brothers, was released in 2010 and starred Kurt Russell, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver The first published novel (1988, reissued in 1998) written by its well-known author, this is the story of Taylor Greer, who grew up poor with the goal of escaping and avoiding pregnancy, yet still finds herself acquiring a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle. This story deals with the themes of love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and discovering resources when you think you have nothing. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver This sequel to The Bean Trees was released in 1999 and continues the story of Taylor and Turtle Greer. It focuses on the meaning of family and what are the true ties that bind people to each other. Cimarron by Edna Ferber Published in 1929, this novel was about the development of Oklahoma after the Land Rush. It was adapted twice as a movie of the same name. The first was released in 1931 through RKO Pictures and won three Oscars. In 1960, the story was adapted for the screen by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for the second time. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls Published in 1961, this is children's novel about a boy who buys and trains two Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs. This story was first adapted into a heartwarming and adventurous movie appropriate for all ages in 1974. The second movie adaptation was released in 2003. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann The Third non-fiction book by this author, Killers was released on April 18, 2017, by Doubleday. Time magazine listed it as one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2017. This true-crime book investigates a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s—after big oil deposits were discovered beneath their land. It has been reported that Martin Scorsese is currently filming the movie adaptation of this novel in Osage County, Oklahoma, and that it will star Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.  
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