Call it Experience: The Years of Learning How to Write

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This memoir presents a self-portrait of Esrkine Caldwell's first 30 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 writers of his time. All the 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 labour to much sought-after positions in radio, film and journalism. Such literary personages as Nathanael West, Maxwell Perkins and Margaret Mitchell appear in the book, as does Margaret Bourke-White, with whom he collaborated on a number of projects and whom he also married. Including a self-interview, it offers 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.