The Grapes of Wrath, the real-life sequel?

My latest New York Times Magazine mini-column looks at a sandstorm — “Steinbeck-ish in its arrival,” according to a city councilman — that rolled through Lubbock, Texas last month, as the harbinger of a likely impending Southwestern Dust-Bowlification.

“I expected at any moment to see a line of Model Ts coming through headed to California,” the councilman said. “It really did look like pictures I had seen of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.”

Also: The ending of The Grapes of Wrath; retracing the characters’ journey in 2009; Woody Guthrie’s “Talking Dust Bowl Blues” (above); and Even Nobel laureates get the blues.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.