Call It Experience
The Years of Learning How to Write

Erskine Caldwell
Foreword by Erik Bledsoe

A candid view of the hardships and rewards of the writer's life


"Perhaps we're like New Yorkers who have never seen the Statue of Liberty—we forget the genius in our own backyard. Erskine Caldwell is one. . . . No one more richly deserves a critical renaissance than this writer, whose laser eye and balanced wit bring life to his work."
Southern Living

This memoir presents an engaging self-portrait of Erskine Caldwell's first thirty years as a writer, with special emphasis on his long and hard apprenticeship before he emerged as one of the most widely read and controversial authors of his time. While conveying the enormous amount of drive and dedication with which he pursued the writer's life, Caldwell tells of his struggles to find his own voice, his travels, and his various jobs, which ranged from back-breaking common labor to much sought-after positions in radio, film, and journalism.

Such literary personages as Nathanael West, Maxwell Perkins, and Margaret Mitchell appear in Call It Experience, as does Margaret Bourke-White, with whom he collaborated on a number of projects and whom he also married. Including a self-interview, Call It Experience offers a wealth of insights into Caldwell's imagination, his sources of inspiration, and his writing habits, as well as his views on critics and reviewers, publishers, and booksellers. It is a source of both information and inspiration to aspiring writers.

Page count: 256 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

Read more about Erskine Caldwell at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $24.95

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Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.