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Erskine Caldwell


American author

Erskine Preston Caldwell ( White Oak , 17 December 1903 - Paradise Valley , 11 April 1987 ) was a writer and journalist, U.S.

The son of a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and Associated , was born in a house in the woods near Moreland , in Georgia . He spent his childhood moving from state to state for all the southern United States following his father in the different churches that were entrusted.

He attended, but without graduating,  Erskine College . He was an athletic boy, taller than 6' 4" , and was described by one of its editors as having an unusually gentle face, which looked almost angelic. Politically, his sympathies were in the direction of workers' demands and, as in his youth had gone from one job to another, was inspired by his experiences of ordinary workers to write books praising the simple life of those who were less fortunate than him . Some time later he also hosted seminars on the lives of poor sharecroppers in the southern United States. His style was simple and direct, like that of John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald , his contemporaries.

His first two books to be published were The Bastard (Original Bastard ) in 1929 and a poor fool (Orig. Poor Fool ) in 1930 , but the works that gave him fame were the novels Tobacco Road (Orig. Tobacco Road ) in 1932 , which was lucky also in theater , and God's Little Acre (Orig. God's Little Acre ) in 1933 from where it was in 1958 , the script of the movie directed by director Anthony Mann .

When his first book was published was immediately prohibited from distribution (perhaps simply on the basis of its title, given that bastard could have been taken as an insult) and copies were seized by the authorities. Later, after the publication of God's Little Acre , the authorities went even further and, at the instigation of the New York Literary Society (which it seems did not appreciate at all the titles chosen by Caldwell for their work), they arrested the writer and again seized the copies of his books when he went to New York for some autograph for readers. The process that followed completely exonerated Caldwell, who presented a control denuncia for the arrest and persecution illegal and unjustified.

During the thirties Caldwell and his wife, they ran a bookstore in Maine . After the divorce from his first wife, married in 1939 the photographer Margaret Bourke-White , with whom in 1937 he collaborated on You Have Seen Their Faces , a book that was the condition of the people of the South in the years of the Great Depression . The marriage lasted until 1942 .

At the height of World War II Caldwell obtained from ' Soviet Union permission to travel to Ukraine and work there as a foreign correspondent documenting the effects of the war in that country. The disappointment seeing the constant intrigues and terrible regime Stalinist led him to write a short story of four pages, Sylvia , which he published in 1944 on his return to the United States. The story is about a journalist who was shot after being processed by a secret court on charges of espionage .

He returned after the war, Caldwell went to live in San Francisco . His ex-wife kept the library in Maine following the agreement on the division of assets.
In the last twenty years of his life he used to travel the world for six months of the year, bringing with it many diaries where note down ideas that came to mind. Most of these diaries was not published, but became part of his estate and can be seen in the museum dedicated to him. His birthplace was in fact moved from the place where it originates and placed in a position closer to the town after being restored and turned into a museum.

Caldwell died of complications from emphysema and a lung cancer on April 11, 1987 , at the age of 83. He was buried at Scenic Hills Memorial Park in Oregon .


1929 : The bastard , story
1930 : A poor fool , story
1931 : American Earth , story
1932 : Tobacco Road ( Tobacco Road )
Tobacco Road - The play adaptation of Jack Kirkland , based on the novel.
1933 : We Are the Living , stories
1933 : God's little acre (God's Little Acre)
1935 : Tenant Farmers , wise
1935 : Some American People , wise
1935 : The wandering preacher
1935 : Kneel to the rising sun , stories
1936 : The Sacrilege of Alan Kent
1937 : You Have Seen Their Faces (by Margaret Bourke-White)
1938 : Southways , story
1939 : North of the Danube
1940 : Excitement of July
1941 : Say Is This the USA?
1942 : Moscow under fire , matches abroad
1942 : Russia at War , letters from abroad
1942 : On the road to Smolensk , letters from abroad
1942 : All Night Long , A Novel of Guerilla Warfare in Russia (subtitle)
1943 : Georgia boy (boy Sycamore) (stories)
1944 : Earth tragic
1947 : The Hand of God
1948 : This our land
1949 : A Place Called Estherville
1949 : A Swell Looking Girl
1949 : The Humorous Side of Erskine Caldwell , edited by Robert Cantwell
1950 : Episode in Palmetto
1951 : Call It Experience , autobiography
1952 : The Courting of Susie Brown , stories
1952 : The light of the evening
1954 : Love and money
1954 : The Complete Stories of Erskine Caldwell
1955 : Gretta
1956 : Gulf Coast Stories , stories
1957 : Certain Women , stories
1958 : Claudelle Inglish
1958 : Molly Cottontail , children's book
1959 : When You Think of Me , stories
1961 : Jenny Milo
1961 : Men and Women , stories
1961 : Jackpot (The hot river) (stories)
1963 : The Last Night of Summer
1965 : In search of Bisco (travel notes)
1966 : The Deer at Our House , children's book
1967 : Writing in America , wise
1968 : Deep South (travel notes)
1973 : Annette
1976 : Afternoons in Mid America , essays
1987 : With All My Might , (autobiography)
1999 : Erskine Caldwell: Selected Letters, 1929-1955 , edited by Robert L. McDonald

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