Written immediately following ""Tobacco Road"" and ""God's Little Acre"", this novel introduces one of Erskine Caldwell's most memorable characters: the philandering, murderous itinerant preacher, Semon Dye. Part allegory, part tall tale, and with a good measure of old frontier humour, ""Journeyman"" tells of a stranger, as devilish as he is divine, who mysteriously arrives in Rocky Comfort, Georgia, and, inside of a week, nearly tears the small community apart. Helping Rocky Comfort's citizens to rationalise their vices and weaknesses, Semon Dye then uses their flaws to his own advantage. Offering no forgiveness for their actions and no justification for his own, he confronts the people of Rocky Comfort with their own sins as he gambles, drinks, carouses and fights along with them. Culminating in a tumultuous, ecstatic revival, ""Journeyman"" is filled with insights into human nature and the physical and emotional components of religious fervour. This volume reprints the complete text of ""Journeyman"" as it was first published, before the more widely circulated edition, expurgated in the aftermath of the legal battles waged against ""God's Little Acre"" was released.
Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984.