Gail Caldwell was born in Amarillo Texas on January 20, 1951. A
graduate of Tascosa High School, she is the former chief book critic
for The Boston Globe, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for
Criticism. She wrote A Strong West Wind, a memoir of her life
growing up on the Texas Panhandle.
After graduating from Tascosa High School, she attended Texas
Tech University for a while but transferred to University of Texas
at Austin and obtained two degrees in American studies. She was an
instructor at the University of Texas until 1981. Before joining The
Boston Globe, Caldwell taught feature writing at Boston University,
worked as the arts editor of the Boston Review and wrote for the
publications New England Monthly and Village Voice.
From her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts Caldwell wrote the 2006
memoir, A Strong West Wind : A Memoir and the 2010, Let's
Take the Long Way Home, a memoir of her friendship with author
Caroline Knapp. Caldwell published a third memoir in 2014, New
Life, No Instructions, about her childhood bout with polio.
A Strong West Wind: A Memoir begins in the 1950s in the
wilds of the Texas Panhandle. Its story belongs to an Amarillo girl
who grew up surrounded by the dust storms, cattle ranches and summer
lightning of the Texas Panhandle.