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Billie Letts books in order

Billie Letts, born Billie Dean Gipson, was an American educator and award-winning author of literary fiction, contemporary women's fiction, and non-fiction books.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she attended Northeastern State College in Tahlequah for two years but earned a bachelor's degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, and a master's degree in behavioral studies from Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU).

Billie then proceeded to teach for almost three decades, majority of which she spent as an English and creative writing professor at SOSU.

Upon retiring from her teaching job, she finally fulfilled her lifetime goal of writing novels, making her debut in 1995 with the bestselling Where the Heart Is, which also received a film adaptation.

The recipient of the Walker Percy Award (1994) and the Oklahoma Book Award (1996 and 1999) as well as the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award, her international bestsellers have been translated into more than a dozen different languages.

Billie died on August 2, 2014, aged 76, six years after the death of her husband, Dennis Letts.

More about Billie Letts

Genres: Contemporary , Fiction, Non-fiction, Postmodern Literature, Women's Fiction

Born: 1938 / Died: 2014

United States

Non Series

  • Where the Heart Is (1995)
  • The Honk and Holler Opening Soon (1998)
  • Shoot the Moon (2004)
  • Made in the U.S.A. (2005)


  1. You've Got Mail, Billie Letts (1999)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Where the Heart Is

Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. 

Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. 

From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey to...Where the Heart Is.

Where the Heart Is
Director: Matt Williams
Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack, James Frain, Dylan Bruno, Sue McCormick, Keith David
Author: Billie Letts
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0733620188
Publisher: Warner Books
The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. 

Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind. 

Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possibility of promise-just like the sign says.

Author: Billie Letts
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0446675055
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Shoot the Moon

In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found.

Nearly thirty years later, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is more astonishing than he or anyone could have imagine. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and a secret that still cries out for justice...and redemption.

Author: Billie Letts
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0446695060
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Made in the U.S.A.

Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. 

While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. 

Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

Author: Billie Letts
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0446582452
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing


You've Got Mail, Billie Letts

You've Got Mail, Billie Lets, harkens back to a simpler time when the real thing—snail mail delivered by a genuine U.S. Snailman—brightened lives and cheered hearts.

"You write great letters! The problem with that is, that the people who receive them can never throw them away. Not ever!" When Billie Letts penned those words back in 1995, she was an up-an-coming writer whose first novel, Where the Heart Is, was drawing lots of attention. But neither she, nor her friend Molly Griffis could have ever guessed that Letts' tribute to small-town life would eventually hit the number one slot on both the New York Times and the USA Today best-seller lists.

But Molly took Billie's words of praise to heart and began a steady stream of letters from Norman, Oklahoma to Durant, Oklahoma, respective homes of Griffis and Letts. Some were handwritten, others were typed— none were computed. Molly's unique vision of life, her celebration of sisterhood and friendship, will bring laughter and tears to those who are now allowed to peak over Billie's shoulder.

NB: Co-authored with Molly Levite Griffis.

Author: Billie Letts
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1571683137
Publisher: Eakin Press