Erskine Caldwell: Selected Letters, 1929-1955

Erskine Caldwell: Selected Letters, 1929-1955


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“I’m just an ordinary writer,” Erskine Caldwell once wrote. “I’m not trying to sell anything; I’m not trying to buy anything. I’m just trying to present my vision of life.” Yet his vision of Southern grotesques, of slack-jawed, pellagra-ridden sharecroppers, repressed farmwives, and oversexed nymphets, elicited anything but an “ordinary” response. Hailed by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Maxwell Perkins, reviled by others as a pornographer or sensationalist, Caldwell was once called “America’s most popular author.” Once the furor flagged, Caldwell was relegated to the “mansions of subliterature,” where his reputation resides today.
This book contains more than 150 previously unpublished letters, notes, telegrams, and postcards written between 1929 and 1955, at the peak of Caldwell’s popularity and influence, all extensively annotated. The introduction assays Caldwell’s significance in American popular culture and literary studies and establishes the importance of Caldwell’s correspondence as a means of understanding the intentions of a man who was otherwise terse and unforthcoming about his work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786473984
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/30/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 259
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert L. McDonald is associate dean for academic affairs and professor of English at Virginia Military Institute. He has written numerous essays on Southern literature and art and edited two other books on Caldwell. A past president of the Popular/American Culture Association in the South, he lives in Lexington, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Editor’s Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Introduction 5

Chronology 13

The Letters 21

Index 243

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