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Welty, Eudora

(US, 1909–2001)

Eudora Welty won the Pulitzer Prize for The Optimist's Daughter (1972). A young woman, Laurel, returns to the Mississippi town where she grew up after her father's death, and gains some perspective on her father's remarriage, soon after her mother's death, to a much younger woman; and also on her own past. Many of Welty's books are centred on the theme of returning to one's origins and seeing them through different eyes, like Delta Wedding (1946), in which Laura McRaven takes the Yellow Dog train to Shellmound in the Mississippi Delta, to attend the marriage of her family's prettiest daughter to a man from the mountains, and Losing Battles (1970), in which an entire family reunites to celebrate Granny Vaughn's ninetieth birthday in Banner, Mississippi. In The Ponder Heart (1954) Uncle Daniel Ponder marries someone much younger, with hilarious reactions and results. Eudora Welty is one of the greatest writers of American short stories. The Golden Apples (1949), in particular, brings her acute perceptiveness and close attention to human peculiarities to bear on American Southern life in a linked collection of stories. Her Collected Stories was published in 1982. She worked as a photographer in Mississippi, where she spent her life, during the Depression, and her photographs are collected in One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression (1971).

William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers  AT

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Tr-Z)