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Fran Leeper Buss is an award winning oral historian, young adult novelist, keeper of journals, and photographer. She is the editor/author of seven books and major archive collections. A former welfare mother who now has a PhD, she is a community activist and has been a feminist for fifty years... read more about Fran

Fran Leeper Buss

"I found Fran Buss' achievement very beautiful and deeply moving."

Studs Terkel

Journey of the Sparrows

New York: Puffin Books, part of the Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1991

Nailed into a crate in the back of a truck, fifteen-year-old María, her older sister, Julia, their little brother ... Read More

Moisture of the Earth

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009

In Moisture of the Earth, Mary Robinson recounts her journey from picking cotton in rural Alabama to becoming an outspoken community leader and labor activist... Read More

Forged under the Sun: Forjado Bajo el Sol: The Life of  María Elena Lucas

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993

María Elena Lucas, the oldest of seventeen children, began work when she was five, then assisted her family as they worked as migrant workers throughout ... Read More

La Partera: Story of a Midwife

Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1980 & 2000

La Partera is the story of a Doña Jesusita Aragon, a Latina midwife from New Mexico, born in 1908. She tells in her own words how at age fourteen, she delivered her first baby ... Read More

Memory, Meaning & Resistance

Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2017

This work is based on over 100 oral histories gathered from marginal and working-class U.S. women from a variety of racial, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds, including a traditional  Mexican American midwife.... Read More


Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1985

It brings together the oral histories of ten poor and working class women whose backgrounds vary, but who share a struggle for survival and a quest for dignity in the face of hardship... Read More

"Fran Leeper Buss' oral histories give voice to those who have walked the road less traveled. Under Buss's gentle questioning, they speak in ways that touch readers' hearts. Her books inspire us to consider how we might serve social justice and live more bravely."

Marge Pellegrino, author of Journey of Dreams

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