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Man with the Pull-tongued Plow appeared in the Fall of 1934 -- and I still remember the sense of discovery of a new talent -- the sense of here was a man with something to say, -- ""robust, lusty, vigorous, effortless -- the expression of the natural rhythms of land and sky and water and seasons -- and people. He builds a gallery of the hill and women, the men and women of the bottom lands of Kentucky"". He still has these qualities; he has written other books in the interval, books that were less sure than his first, but that always kept one's faith in him. Now comes this -- his first actual novel. It is fulfillment -- and already has two accolades, -- the 1943 Thomas Jefferson Southern Award, and the December Book of the Month selection . Here is a book of the people that manages to convey the humanity along with the degradation, the degeneracy, the vulgarity of some of the Faulkner-Caldwell school. There is no ""prettying up"" of the Tussle's, charges of the community and shameless in using their numbers and the vote as a big stick (almost it makes a poll tax seem legitimate). But Grandpa Tussie is quite a guy, even though he thinks relief his right, and work an impossible concession . The story is told with full appreciation of the robustness of the theme -- a sort of modern Enoch Arden, product of the war -- and thoroughly credible Explain the apparent immortality of Tobacco Road and you'll find the clue to making a best seller of this, which it seems to me has all that has -- and more. Don't recommend the Tussies as week-end companions for your finicky customers, or for those who like to read about people they'd like to visit. But don't miss it -- it is a milestone in regional American literature.

Pub Date: Nov. 24th, 1943
Publisher: Dutton