Erskine Caldwell: A Biography by Harvey L. Klevar (review)

Erskine Caldwell: A Biography by Harvey L. Klevar (University of Tennessee Press, 1993)

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Erskine Caldwell: A Biography by Harvey L. Klevar (review)

by Fred Hobson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 1: Fall 1995

University of Tennessee Press, 1993

Erskine Caldwell, long a subject ignored or nearly so by scholars of the first rank, is finally getting a measure of what he long said he didn’t care about anyway—literary respectability. Sylvia Cook, a fine student of the fiction of the southern white lower classes, produced Erskine Caldwell and the Fiction of Poverty in 1991. Wayne Mixon, previously the author of an excellent work about southern fiction of the late nineteenth century, has just completed, a biography of Caldwell. Dan Miller’s fine biography of Caldwell was recently published by Knopf. And here we have a well-researched and at least passably written fulllength biography by Harvey Klevar, an anthropologist who ventures into literary fields with more success than literary types might imagine.

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