Set during the Depression in the depleted farmlands surrounding Augusta, Georgia, Tobacco Road was first published in 1932. It is the story of the Lesters, a family of white sharecroppers so destitute that most of their creditors have given up on them. Debased by poverty to an elemental state of ignorance and selfishness, the Lesters are preoccupied by their hunger, sexual longings, and fear that they will one day descend to a lower rung on the social ladder than the black families who live near them.Caldwell's skillful use of dialect and his plain style make the book one of the best examples of literary naturalism in contemporary American fiction. The novel was adapted as a successful play in 1933.More
"Caldwell's book is...well served by this classy performance, which manages to highlight the realism amid the rambunctiousness." (AudioFile)
"An original, mature approach to people who ignore the civilization that contains them as completely as it ignores them." (The Nation)
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The Depression is Depressing
- William M Storm "An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus."
No Grapes of Wrath