Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Billie Letts  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: 1938 in Tulsa, Oklahoma


Illinois Connection

Letts taught in Cairo and Paxton Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Letts is a novelist and educator. She is the author of numerous highly acclaimed short stories and screenplays, and a former professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.Aside from her teaching career, Billie Letts has also worked as a waitress, window washer, dance instructor, dishwasher, roller-skating waitress at a drive-in restaurant, and secretary to a private detective!Her first novel, ''Where the Heart Is'', won the Walker Percy Award, sold more than three million copies, and was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club selection in December 1998. It was made into a major motion picture in 2000 and was directed by Matt Williams, starring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing. Her husband, Dennis Letts, also appeared in the film. Her second novel, ''The Honk and Holler Opening Soon'', was named the first “Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma” selection. Her third novel, ''Shoot the Moon'', was both a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Billie Letts currently resides in Oklahoma.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- Walker Percy Award in 1994 for ''Where the Heart Is'' Oklahoma Book Award in 1996 ''The Honk and Holler Opening Soon'' was named the first Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma selection Oprah's Book Club - Best Novel nominee for ''Where the Heart Is''