Caldwell, Erskine


Caldwell, Erskine
born Dec. 17, 1903, Coweta county, Ga., U.S.
died April 11, 1987, Paradise Valley, Ariz.

U.S. author.

Caldwell became familiar with poor sharecroppers through his father's missionary work. Fame arrived with Tobacco Road (1932), a controversial novel whose title became a byword for rural squalor; adapted as a play, it ran more than seven years on Broadway. God's Little Acre (1933), also a best-seller, featured a cast of hopelessly poor degenerates. Like his other novels and stories about the rural Southern poor, they mix violence and sex in grotesque tragicomedy. He also wrote the text for documentary books with photographs by Margaret Bourke-White, whom he married.

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▪ American writer
born Dec. 17, 1903, Coweta County, Ga., U.S.
died April 11, 1987, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
 American author whose unadorned novels and stories about the rural poor of the American South mix violence and sex in grotesque tragicomedy. His works achieved a worldwide readership and were particularly esteemed in France and the Soviet Union.

      Caldwell's father was a home missionary who moved frequently from church to church in the clay hills of central Georgia. While accompanying his father, Caldwell acquired a deep familiarity with the mentality and dialect of the impoverished sharecroppers that his father ministered to. He attended Erskine College, Due West, S.C., and the University of Virginia but did not graduate.

      He settled in Maine in 1926, determined to work seriously as a writer of fiction. Fame arrived with Tobacco Road (1932), a highly controversial novel whose title grew to be a byword for rural squalor and degradation. A dramatization of Tobacco Road by Jack Kirkland in 1934 ran for seven and a half years on the New York stage and became a staple of the American theatre, with its tragicomic picture of Jeeter Lester, his family, and his neighbours. Caldwell's reputation as a novelist largely rests on Tobacco Road and on God's Little Acre (1933), another best-selling novel featuring a cast of hopelessly poor and degenerate whites in the rural South. Among his other more important works are Trouble in July (1940); the episodic narrative Georgia Boy (1943), a well-told story of boyhood; the literary autobiography Call It Experience (1951); and In Search of Bisco (1965).

      Caldwell provided the text and his wife-to-be, Margaret Bourke-White, provided the photographs for a powerful documentary book about the rural South entitled You Have Seen Their Faces (1937). They collaborated on two more such picture-and-text books on eastern European countries. Caldwell worked overseas as a journalist during World War II, wrote screenplays in Hollywood, and continued to produce works of fiction and remembrance in the latter part of his career.

      Caldwell's later novels attracted little critical interest. Although his fellow Southern novelist William Faulkner considered him among the five best contemporary American writers, most American critics generally have been more grudging in their praise.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caldwell, Erskine — (1903 1987)    Born in White Oak, Georgia, best selling writer Erskine Caldwell attended Erskine College and the University of Virginia for a number of years and worked as a journalist before moving to Maine in 1926 to concentrate on writing… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Caldwell, Erskine — ► (1903 87) Escritor estadounidense. Obras: Habéis visto sus rostros (1937), El sacrilegio de Alan Kent (1976). * * * (17 dic. 1903, cond. de Coweta, Ga., EE.UU.–11 abr. 1987, Paradise Valley, Ariz.). Escritor estadounidense. Caldwell se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Caldwell, Erskine —    см. Колдуэлл, Эрскин …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Caldwell,Erskine Preston — Cald·well (kôldʹwĕl , wəl, kŏldʹ ), Erskine Preston. 1903 1987. American writer best known for his graphic novels about poverty and degeneration, such as Tobacco Road (1932). * * * …   Universalium

  • Erskine Caldwell — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Erskine Caldwell, fotografiado por Carl van Vechten en 1938 Erskine Preston Caldwell (Coweta County, 17 de diciembre de 1903 11 de abril …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erskine Preston Caldwell — Erskine Caldwell 1938, Photo von Carl van Vechten Erskine Preston Caldwell (* 17. Dezember 1903 bei Moreland, Georgia; † 11. April 1987 in Paradise Valley, Arizona) war ein amerikan …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CALDWELL (E.) — CALDWELL ERSKINE (1903 1987) Romancier américain né en 1903, auteur de La Route au tabac et du Petit Arpent du Bon Dieu , Erskine Caldwell a fait entrer dans la littérature un nouveau personnage: le «pauvre blanc» des États du Sud. Il le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Caldwell — Caldwell, Erskine * * * (as used in expressions) Abbot, Sir John (Joseph Caldwell) Caldwell, Erskine Calhoun, John C(aldwell) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Caldwell — (Erskine Preston) (1903 1987) romancier américain. Il peint le Sud profond : la Route au tabac (1932), le Petit Arpent du Bon Dieu (1933) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Erskine Caldwell — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Caldwell. Erskine Caldwell …   Wikipédia en Français


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