PIE TOWN WOMAN:
THE HARD LIFE AND GOOD TIMES OF A NEW MEXICO HOMESTEADER
7 x 9.5 inches 216 pages, 81 halftones
Hardcover, ISBN 0-8263-2283-2
Paperback, ISBN 0-8263-2284-0
University of New Mexico Press
"Pie Town Woman tells the story of Doris Caudill and her family, immortalized in over a hundred photographs in 1940 by Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Russell Lee.
With the nearest doctor 60 miles away, and Albuquerque a daunting 180-mile trip; the land rough and electricity rare, how could a spirited woman living a life of such hardship remember those times as the happiest in her life?
Joan Myers, intrigued by how a "dirt poor" existence could be reminisced about in such glowing terms, went in search of Doris Caudill, in part to meet the subject of so many photos, and in part to compare how Doris' feelings and memories compared to Lee's photographic observations.
Lee was paid to photograph "the spirit of America at a time of great trial." His photographs were published in a variety of magazines and other publications to demonstrate how people were living in other parts of the country, and to influence Congress to appropriate more money in the rural areas where people most needed it.
Today, more than six hundred photographs of Pie Town exist in the Library of Congress. Myers' Pie Town Woman is the fascinating story of homesteaders Doris Caudill and family, Russell and Jean Lee' s experiences during their own stay in Pie Town, and Joan Myers' sojourn into the past to unravel the stories behind the pictures.
The book includes photographs by Russell Lee, family snapshots, and photographs by Joan Myers of Pie Town today.