Author bio

Erskine Caldwell

Erskine Caldwell - book author

Erskine Preston Caldwell was an American author. His writings about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South won him critical acclaim, but they also made him controversial among fellow Southerners of the time who felt he was holding the region up to ridicule.

Erskine Caldwell is the author of books: Tobacco Road, God's Little Acre, Trouble in July, Georgia Boy, Journeyman, قصه های بابام, Stories of Erskine Caldwell, A House in the Uplands, You Have Seen Their Faces, Jenny by Nature

Author books

Caldwell’s controversial classic: the story of a Southern sharecropper family ground down by the devastation of the Great Depression
Even before the Great Depression struck, Jeeter Lester and his family were desperately poor sharecroppers. But when hard times begin to affect the families that once helped support them, the Lesters slip completely into the abyss. Rather than hold on to each other for support, Jeeter, his wife Ada, and their twelve children are overcome by the fractured and violent society around them.
Banned and burned when first released in 1932, Tobacco Road is a brutal examination of poverty’s dehumanizing influence by one of America’s great masters of political fiction.
Like Tobacco Road, this novel chronicles the final decline of a poor white family in rural Georgia. Exhorted by their patriarch Ty Ty, the Waldens ruin their land by digging it up in search of gold. Complex sexual entanglements and betrayals lead to a murder within the family that completes its dissolution. Juxtaposed against the Waldens' obsessive search is the story of Ty Ty's son-in-law, a cotton mill worker in a nearby town who is killed during a strike.First published in 1933, God's Little Acre was censured by the Georgia Literary Commission, banned in Boston, and once led the all-time best-seller list, with more than ten million copies in print.
Through the summer twilight in the Depression-era South, word begins to circulate of a black man accosting a white woman. In no time the awful forces of public opinion and political expediency goad the separate fears and frustrations of a small southern community into the single-mindedness of a mob. Erskine Caldwell shows the lynching of Sonny Clark through many eyes. However, Caldwell reserves some of his most powerful passages for the few who truly held Clark's life in their hands but let it go: people like Sheriff Jeff McCurtain, who did nothing to disperse the mob; Harvey Glenn, who found Clark in hiding and turned him in; and Katy Barlow, who withdrew her false charge of rape only after Clark was dead.
In this appealing collection of fourteen interrelated stories, twelve-year-old William Stroup recounts the ludicrous predicaments and often self-imposed hardships his family endures. Playing on the tension between Martha, his hardworking, sensible mother, and Morris, his disarmingly likable but shiftless and philandering father, William tells of Pa's flirtation with a widow, his swapping match with a band of gypsies, his battle of wits with a traveling silk-tie saleswoman, and his get-rich-quick schemes based on selling Ma's old love letters and collecting scrap iron.Often caught in the middle of the Stroups' bungles is Handsome Brown, their yard hand, as well as a number of animals with all-too-human qualities: Ida, the mule; Pretty Sooky, the runaway calf; College Boy, the fighting cock; a small flock of woodpeckers that favor Handsome's head over a tree; and goats who commandeer the roof of the Stroups' house.

Georgia Boy was a special book to Caldwell, and its humor is less in the service of social criticism than in other works in which he dealt with poor white southerners. Beneath Georgia Boy's folksy lightheartedness, however, lie the problems of indigence, racism, and apathy that Caldwell confronted again and again in his fiction.
Written immediately following Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre, this novel introduces one of Erskine Caldwell's most memorable characters: the philandering, murderous itinerant preacher, Semon Dye. Part allegory, part tall tale, and with a good measure of old frontier humor, Journeyman, tells of a stranger, as devilish as he is divine, who mysteriously arrives in Rocky Comfort, Georgia, and, inside of a week, nearly tears the small community apart. Helping Rocky Comfort's citizens to rationalize their vices and weaknesses, Semon Dye then uses their flaws to his own advantage. Offering no forgiveness for their actions and no justification for his own, he confronts the people of Rocky Comfort with their own sins as he gambles, drinks, carouses, and fights along with them.

Culminating in a tumultuous, ecstatic revival, Journeyman is filled with insights into human nature and the physical and emotional components of religious fervor. This volume reprints the complete text of Journeyman as it was first published, before the more widely circulated edition, expurgated in the aftermath of the legal battles waged against God's Little Acre, was released.
This collection of 96 stories presents the best of Erskine Caldwell's short fiction from his most productive period of work. Included here is Crown-Fire, Country Full of Swedes, The Windfall, Horse Thief, Yellow Girl and Kneel to the Rising Sun.
In the middle years of the Great Depression, Erskine Caldwell and photographer Margaret Bourke-White spent eighteen months traveling across the back roads of the Deep South--from South Carolina to Arkansas--to document the living conditions of the sharecropper. Their collaboration resulted in You Have Seen Their Faces, a graphic portrayal of America's desperately poor rural underclass. First published in 1937, it is a classic comparable to Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, and James Agee and Walker Evans's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which it preceded by more than three years.Caldwell lets the poor speak for themselves. Supported by his commentary, they tell how the tenant system exploited whites and blacks alike and fostered animosity between them. Bourke-White, who sometimes waited hours for the right moment, captures her subjects in the shacks where they lived, the depleted fields where they plowed, and the churches where they worshipped.
From bookjacket:
The heroine of the new novel by America's most widely read author is an outspoken, life-loving, woman of courage who knows how to speak up for herself: "I'm Jenny by name and Jenny by nature, and I couldn't be changed even by legislature. I never was one to make a pretense of not wanting a man for company."

Jenny's romming-house on Morningside Street, Sallisaw, Indianola County, Georgia, belonged to her house and lot, free and clear. When those gospel-shouting Rugged Cross people built their church right spang up against Jenny's property line close enough to shut out her sunlight, thinking she'd take the hint and move away, they just didn't know Jenny. When the complained that it was a sinning shame for her to take in Shorty (3 feet)
Goodwillie as a roomer, her friend Judge Milo Rainey told her what she already knew -- she was in her rights. Of course, when it came to her other roomer, attractive Betty Woodruff, the Rugged Cross preacher had different ideas -- a strong and compelling urge to meet Betty at the Pleasant Hours Motel. It was mighty embarrassing for everybody, especially Preacher Clough, when SHeriff Cling Huffman got called to the motel by a member of the congregation.

But of all Jenny's acts of courage, the bravest was the time she rented a room to dark-skinned Lawanna Neleight, when no one else in the whole of Sallinaw would -- because Dale WOmack who ran the town said they couldn't. Lawanna said she was part-Indian, but Dade said she was a Negro and what Dade said went. Judge Milo Rainey warned Jenny she was headed for big trouble and there wasn't any way of stopping it, but Jenny went ahead and did what she thought was right.

Într-un orăşel din Georgia sudistă, Veasey Goodwillie, un pitic de circ neastâmpărat, Betty, o fostă profesoară libertină şi Lawana, o mulatră în căutarea unei slujbe îşi găsesc cu toţii adăpost în căminul primitor al lui Jenny Royster, o proprietăreasă durdulie şi inimoasă, de mult trecută de prima tinereţe, cu un trecut furtunos şi un prezent pe măsură. Înzestrată cu o tenacitate excepţională şi sprijinită de un prieten de nădejde, Jenny se confruntă rând pe rând cu nemulţumirile stârnite de moravurile chiriaşilor săi, cu pericolul de a-şi pierde proprietatea, cu prejudecăţile rasiale şi nu în ultimul rând cu ignoranţa şi bigotismul unei comunităţi înapoiate.

Cu siguranţă unul dintre cele mai apreciate romane ale lui Erskine Caldwell, Jenny combină cu succes comedia spumoasă cu pasiunea, deschizând totodată o fereastră asupra realităţilor dure ale unei epoci controversate din istoria americană.