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1925 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York
March 7, 1936
Mr. William Stanleyr 'oole
Dear Mr. loole,
I think I must be God's left-hand mule, because I have to work so hard.
That very funny too, because no lazier mortal ever oried for breath. But the,
press of new things, plue the press of old things yet unfinished keep me on the
treadmill all the time.Thats how come I haven't answeered your most kind and flatter-
ing letter before now.
My next book is to be a novel about a woman who was from childhood
hungry for life and the earth,burt because she had beautiful hair,was always being
sketched upon a flag-pole by the men who loved her and forced to sit there.At
forty she got her chance at mud. Nud, lush and fecund with a buck Negro called
Teacake,He took her down into the EPverg~lades where people worked and sweated and
loved and died violently,wahere no such thing as flag-poles for women existed.
Since I narrate mostly in dialogue, I can give you no feeling in these few lines
of the life of this brown woman with her plentiful hair. But this is the barest
statement of the story.
I am glad in a way to see my beloved southland coming into so much
prominence in literature. I wish some of it was more considered. I observe that
some writers are playing to the gallery. That is,oertain notions have gotten in
circulation about conditions in the south and so these writers take this formula
and work out so-called true stories.r For instance, one Russian lady got hot under
the collar and walked out of a party because I wouldrrt say I had suffered terribly
down home. It seems that she had helped arrange the party for me to expose my
sufferings and the rag( conditions in the south and when I said I lived pretty
shoh the same in New York and Florida,she used that back-house word and walked out.
Being poor myself I am heartily in favor of poor people gettingl hold of money
but I fail to seer the difference between an under-paid cotton-picker and an under
paid factory hand.So why stress Alabaset The under dog catches heck everywhere.
Nobody would love to see ideal living conditions to everyone mrore than I,but I
sense insineerity wshen only one section of the cou try is held up for example.
But I do feel that the south is taking a new high place in American literature.
Caldwaell,Peterkrin,and that new-comer David C. Cohen (God Shakers creation) and
Bliss Carmen! (Stars Fell on Alabama) are definite conrtributers to life. Not to
mention Sherwood Anderson, whom I think is almost equal to Caldwell,it not
equal. T,8. STribling is a monnyark,thats something like a king you know, only
bigger and better. I love him.
You asked for a parag~raph and this is a pretty long one that I have
on this page. But, I was trying to give you a peep into my mind.I thought hard
and tried to make a statement about the literature in a sentence, but I couldrrt
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