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Eudora Welty : Stories, Essays & Memoir (Library of America, 102) Hardcover – August 1, 1998


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Eudora Welty : Stories, Essays & Memoir (Library of America, 102) + Eudora Welty : Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter (Library of America) + Flannery O'Connor : Collected Works : Wise Blood / A Good Man Is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear It Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays & Letters (Library of America)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Library of America (Book 102)
  • Hardcover: 980 pages
  • Publisher: The Library of America; 1st edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011550
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's small wonder that the Library of America chose Eudora Welty as the first living (at that time) author published in this prestigious series. Welty was the kind of writer people routinely call "an American institution." But don't let the sweet white-haired-old-lady image fool you: Welty's work is anything but benign. For more than 50 years, Welty spoke with a fierce and uncompromising literary voice. Or, rather, voices: the stories collected in this volume feature a dizzying array of characters, each of whom seems to whisper directly into the reader's ear. From the toxic rage of "Where Is the Voice Coming From?" to the jazzy rhythms of "Powerhouse," these tales blaze with intensity and a comic energy that's both gentle and fierce. Even that bane of junior-high-school speech tournaments everywhere, "Why I Live at the P.O.," benefits from rereading; as far as this brand of down-home farce goes, Welty does it better than anyone. Bringing together the contents of Welty's four short-fiction collections, this Library of America volume also includes several essays as well as Welty's very fine 1984 memoir, "One Writer's Beginnings." In it she speaks of connections, continuities, the way both her fiction and her experiences emerged gradually into focus over time:
...suddenly a light is thrown back, as when your train makes a curve, showing that there has been a mountain of meaning rising behind you on the way you've come, is rising there still, proven now through retrospect.
This volume is that light thrown back; the full import of Welty's enormously influential work is perhaps apparent only now, in this substantial and rewarding retrospective of her career. --Mary Park

From Library Journal

Congratuations to Welty on becoming the first living writer to be included among the Library of America's prestigious ranks. This sterling collection includes an amalgam of all her longer fiction, such as The Robber Bridegroom, The Ponder Heart, and The Optimist's Daughter, as well as her complete short fiction, plus a selection of essays and autobiographical writings.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At the time of her death, Eudora Welty was widely regarded as America's single greatest living author. Although she produced several critically acclaimed novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning THE OPTIMIST'S DAUGHTER, Welty achieved her greatest fame through mastery of that most difficult of all literary forms, the short story.
Welty's skill with short stories is amazing, for she possessed a talent that combined a remarkable ear for the spoken word, meticulous observation of physical world, and the truly mysterious ability to slip almost effortlessly into the very marrow of the characters she depicts. Her comic stories are perhaps best known to the public in general, but she is equally at home with provocative and unsettling material, and although her tales are most often firmly rooted in America's deep south they have a sense of humanity that transcends the limitations of purely regional literature.
In addition to stories previously collected under the titles A CURTAIN OF GREEN, THE WIDE NET, THE GOLDEN APPLES, and THE BRIDE OF THE INNISFALLEN, this Library of America publication also includes the independently published stories "Where Is the Voice Coming From?" and "The Demonstrators," nine selected essays, and Welty's memoir ONE WRITER'S BEGINNINGS. A chronology of Welty's life up to 1996, textual notes, and general notes (including Katherine Anne Porter's introduction for A CURTAIN OF GREEN) are also included. This book (and its Library of America) companion, EUDORA WELTY: COMPLETE NOVELS) are essentials for any one who admires Welty's work and wishes to possess it in handy, collected form; those who have had limited exposure to Welty's work, however, might be better served by smaller collections.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Author Bill Peschel on December 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Each new volume from The Library of America, the non-profit publisher that has become the de facto literary hall of fame, is a cause for celebration. Its goal of preserving in an enduring format the best fiction and non-fiction is a significant bulwark against the encroaching tides of cultural relativism that attempts to render any value judgments meaningless, as well as a consumer society that insists that if it ain't new, it ain't good.

In the case of Eudora Welty, we're given two volumes: a collection of five novels ("The Robber Bridegroom," "Delta Wedding," "The Ponder Heart," "Losing Battles" and the Pulitzer-winning "The Optimist's Daughter"), and another of her essays, her memoir "One Writer's Beginnings" and her short stories. From her first published short stories, "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies" in 1937, to her last novel in 1972, Welty captures with her highly readable style and sharp eye and ear the varieties and eccentricities of Southern life.

But while the South claims Welty as one of its own, she may not necessarily return the favor. Teh cause is both geographic and a matter of choice. Although she was born in Jackson, Miss., in 1909 and lived there all her life, her father was from Ohio and her mother from West Virginia, a state created by the Civil War that went for the Union. This isn't Margaret Mitchell we're talking about here.

Then, in her essay "Place in Fiction," she stresses that while it is important for a writer to capture the feeling of an area, it is not the paramount goal in fiction:

"It is through place that we put out roots ... but where those roots reach toward ... is the deep and running vein, eternal and consistent and everywhere purely itself, that feeds and is fed by the human understanding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Jellinek on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading these stories, I fell in love with Eudora Welty's writing. A completely original voice, with a blend of grace, humor and courage that you simply don't find anywhere else--particularly among today's writers. While most of the stories play in the south, probably my favorite is "The Bride of the Innisfallen," which plays in England and Ireland. I didn't fully understand it the first time I read it, but I was sufficiently intrigued that I immediately read it again (something I rarely do) and was completely blown away. American writing doesn't get any better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin C. Brown on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great collection of stories! Eudora Welty is hard to beat. She is right up there with Faulkner. I love her curious points of view and the enigmatic way she ends some of her stories. Thanks for a great transaction!
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