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Tobacco Road.

Tobacco Road

(1932) A novel by Erskine Caldwell. Jeeter Lester is an impoverished Georgia sharecropper who lives on Tobacco Road with his starving old mother, his sickly wife, Ada, and his two children, sixteen - year - old Dude and Ellie May, who has a harelip. A third child, Pearl, has been married at the age of twelve to Lov Bensey, a railroad worker. When Jeeter's widowed preacher sister, Bessie Rice, induces Dude to marry her by buying him a new automobile, Dude accidentally wrecks the car and kills his grandmother. Pearl runs away from Lov Bensey; Ellie May happily goes to live with him; and Jeeter and Ada, left alone one night, perish when their shack burns down. The hapless Lesters, at once comical and shockingly degenerate, became widely familiar to the public through Jack Kirkland's dramatization (1933), which ran for 3,182 performances on Broadway, and the book's title has become a symbol of slovenly poverty and depravity.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
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