Norma Welty, author of "The Dirty Days" will visit Lake Elmo Public Library

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 3537 Lake Elmo Ave N Lake Elmo MN 55042  See map

Norma Welty, 87 from Maplewood, named her novel “The Dirty Days.” It is a story based on her real life experiences growing up in the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma during the Depression. She will be talking about her life and how she came to write the book at Lake Elmo Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m.  The Friends of Lake Elmo Library are sponsoring the author event.

“It is 1933. As a beat-up truck travels down a road away from Arkansas, seven-year-old Molly May Dowden can only hope a better future awaits her parents in Thistleway, Oklahoma. They have no idea of what is about to come.” 


So begins the story about one of the most challenging times in the history of the United States seen through the eyes of a young girl.  Welty fictionalized her experience, but she lived through it and in this historical tale, based on true events, a girl embarks on a coming-of-age journey where she and her loved ones must fight to survive the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.  


She says her story is not just about the pain and suffering. “There are moments of humor and tenderness that reveal our human capacity to find hope, even happiness amid all the tragedy. My story celebrates and acknowledges the strength and endurance of a generation of adults and children who battled the elements at a desperate time and prevailed through pure grit, hope, and determination.”  


Welty came to her craft later in life and, she says, “In some ways, I have a history of being a late bloomer.” She did not attend college until she was 40, but then earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and taught English for 21 years. She received her first computer at age 80.


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