Erskine Caldwell: Tobacco Road

(1174 words)

Tobacco Road was Erskine Caldwell’s third published novel, but his first big success. Although the novel sold modestly upon its initial release by Scribner’s, it was wildly successful as a paperback reissue for Penguin in 1946. It sold over one million copies within one year of its paperback release, spurred on by the popularity of stage and film versions of the novel. A stage version of Tobacco Road, written by Jack Kirkland, opened on Broadway in 1933, and it became the longest-running show in Broadway history, closing in 1941 after 3,180 shows, over 900 more than any other play in American history at the time. Several travelling shows operated at once, playing in forty-three states and breaking attendance …

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Rieger, Christopher. "Tobacco Road". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2011
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]