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During his long life, Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) published twenty-five novels, nearly one hundred and fifty short stories, and twelve volumes of nonfiction, and he saw his work translated into more than forty languages. Most critics have considered Caldwell to be only a minor southern writer, often associating him with his worst writing, but now a Caldwell revival is under way. In The People's Writer, Wayne Mixon gives Caldwell long-overdue recognition, asserting his portrayal of social injustice raises his work to the level of greatness. Mixon convincingly demonstrates that the writer blended art and argument to issue strong indictments of racism, sexism, otherworldly religion, an economics that bred prverty, and a politics that ignored the most desperate people in the South. Mixon asserts that Caldwell's portrayal of poor whites and blacks, pathbreaking for its time, qualifies him as one of our great literary realists.
About the Author
Wayne Mixon is Professor of History at Mercer University. He is the author of Southern Writers and the New South Movement, 1865-1913 and the editor of My Young Master: A Novel by Opie Read.