Georgia Boy

Erskine Caldwell
Foreword by Roy Blount Jr.

Folksy southern humor at its best

Reviews

"Georgia Boy might well have been subtitled Life with Father on the Tobacco Road. . . . This reviewer would have to go back to Huck Finn to find a more companionable storyteller than Pa Stroup's William."
New York Times Book Review

"Caldwell has a way of kicking a comic stiuation around until it turns into wild burlesque."
The New Yorker


Description
In this appealing collection of fourteen interrelated stories, twelve-year-old William Stroup recounts the ludicrous predicaments and often self-imposed hardships his family endures. Playing on the tension between Martha, his hardworking, sensible mother, and Morris, his disarmingly likable but shiftless and philandering father, William tells of Pa's flirtation with a widow, his swapping match with a band of gypsies, his battle of wits with a traveling silk-tie saleswoman, and his get-rich-quick schemes based on selling Ma's old love letters and collecting scrap iron.

Often caught in the middle of the Stroups' bungles is Handsome Brown, their yard hand, as well as a number of animals with all-too-human qualities: Ida, the mule; Pretty Sooky, the runaway calf; College Boy, the fighting cock; a small flock of woodpeckers that favor Handsome's head over a tree; and goats who commandeer the roof of the Stroups' house.

Georgia Boy was a special book to Caldwell, and its humor is less in the service of social criticism than in other works in which he dealt with poor white southerners. Beneath Georgia Boy's folksy lightheartedness, however, lie the problems of indigence, racism, and apathy that Caldwell confronted again and again in his fiction.

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

Read more about storytelling traditions at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

 



Paper
List price: $24.95
978-0-8203-1736-6
1995

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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.