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The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty Paperback – February 1, 1982

4.2 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

One of the truly great works of twentieth-century American literature, Eudora Welty's Collected Stories confirms her place as a contemporary master of short fiction. Welty wrote novels, novellas, and reviews over the course of her long career, but the heart and soul of her literary vision lay with the short story. The forty-one pieces reproduced here, written over a period of three decades, include "A Petrified Man," "Why I Live at the P.O.,""The Wide Net," and "The Bride of Innisfallen." "I have been told," Welty writes in the introduction, "both in approval and in accusation, that I seem to love all my characters." The characters that spring to life in this masterwork reveal the depth and breadth of her love.

"Miss Welty's short stories are deceptively simple. They are concerned with ordinary people, but what happens to them and the manner of the telling are far from ordinary . . . A fine writer and a distinguished book. "--The New Yorker

"Eudora Welty is one of our purest, finest, gentlest voices and this collection is something to be treasured."--Anne Tyler

"The ironic tenderness of Chekhov, the almost feral edge of Maupassant, the ominousness of Poe and Bierce, the lacy strength of Henry Green. She is probably the finest Mozartian stylist writing in then English language."--Mary Lee Settle

"Stories as good in themselves and as influential on the aspirations of others as any since Hemingway's . . . The breadth of Welty's offering is finally most visible not in the variety of types-farce, satire, horror, lyric, pastoral, mystery-but in the clarity and solidity and absolute honesty of a lifetime's vision."--Reynolds Price



Eudora Welty (1909-2001) was born in Jackson, Mississippi. She worked as a photographer during the Depression and published her first book, a collection of short stories, in 1941. In addition to short fiction, Welty wrote novels, novellas, essays, and reviews, and was the winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. By the time of her death in 2001, Welty had established herself as one of the most important and beloved American writers of the twentieth century.

About the Author

EUDORA WELTY (1909-2001) was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and attended the Mississippi State College for Women, the University of Wisconsin, and Columbia University (where she studied advertising). In addition to short fiction, Welty wrote novels, novellas, essays, and reviews, and was the winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace; 1 edition (February 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156189216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156189217
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James L. Vickery on June 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
You will run out of highlighter ink reading this one, because there are so many passages you will surely want to reread and savor later.
This grand matriarch of Southern Writer Tradition was first discovered, praised and published by luminaries such as Robert Penn Warren when he was coeditor of The Southern Review, Edward Weeks when he was editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and Mary Louise Aswell, when she was fiction editor of Harper's Bazaar.
This collection of stories is truly worthy to be called a classic. It is sometimes tedious reading, because the stories and characters are complex. After a number of false starts over a period of years, I finally resolved to give this scholarly work the focused time and attention it deserves, and feel richly rewarded for the effort.
Ms. Welty joins the ranks of great writers who prove to us that a great writer does not have to live the experience to effectively write about it. She leaps with ease between characters as diverse as Aaron Burr, a deaf black servant boy, a traveling salesmen, eccentric Southern matrons, and countless others. She portrays them in all of their complexities as if she had lived the experiences of each. Her descriptions of scenes and settings are equally as lucid and believable as if she had first hand knowledge of each. This rare and precious gift is best described in her own words, "I have been told, both in approval and accusation, that I seem to love all of my characters. What I do in writing of any character is to try to enter into the mind, heart, and skin of a human being who is not myself. Whether this happens to be a man or a woman, old or young, with skin black or white, the primary challenge lies in making the jump itself. It is the act of a writer's imagination that I set most high."
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By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
For those who want to jump-start their introduction to southern literature, this is as fine a beginning point as you will find anywhere. The prose is so richly drawn that it feels like poetry, and the images in "A Curtain of Green" and "A Still Moment" will take your breath away. You have to slow down to savor every carefully crafted sentence. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
If Flannery O'Connor is the Empress of Southern gothic writing, than Welty is for sure the Queen. Her stories perplex, confuse, amaze and just plain make you happy that people can write like this.
Her short stories are a given on any English professor's syllabus, and with good reason. Not only are they well written and chock full of metaphors and symbolism, but they speak a multi-generational and multi-regional dialect all their own.
Personal fave: Why I Live at the P.O.
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Format: Paperback
As a short story writer, as a Southern writer, Eudora Welty is simply the best. Her writing is beautiful, but also complex--as are her characters. In a story of just a few pages, she can create a whole world and make a character come so alive that that character remains with you for days or even a lifetime. You feel as if you have known and lived with these people forever, and yet the short story form leaves you feeling that there is so much more to know. I love the stories about the South, but one of my favorites is the offbeat "Circe" based on the Greek legend about the sorceress who could turn men into swine. The harassed Circe notes that this is not a very great feat since men are pigs anyway and the legend develops an entirely different perspective. These stories are humorous, touching, and inspire awe for the talent that created them.
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Format: Paperback
This National Book Award winner and treasure trove contain all 41 of Eudora Welty's short stories, including: "A Curtain of Green and Other Stories," (1941); "The Wide Net and Other Stories ,"(1943); the seven interlocking narratives of "The Golden Apples," (1949), "The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories," 1955, as well as two previously uncollected works, "Where Is the Voice Coming From?" (1963), and "The Demonstrators" (1966). Miss Welty also wrote a Preface especially for this edition, in which she says: "I have been told, both in approval and in accusation, that I seem to love all my characters. What I do in writing of any character is to try to enter into the mind, heart and skin of a human being who is not myself."

The intricacies of human relationships is the primary theme in this collection of short fiction. Eudora Welty's works combine wonderful humor and an astute perception of human psychology. Her ear for dialogue is superb and her prose lyrical and nuanced.

Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi where she spent most of her life. From the moment of publication, her collections of stories won wide critical acclaim, as did her novels, "The Robber Bridegroom," "Delta Wedding," "The Ponder Heart," "Losing Battles," and "The Optimist's Daughter," which won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize. Her autobiography, One Writer's Beginnings, won both the American Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984. In 1996, Welty was given France's highest civilian honor, the French Legion of Honor Award.

This is a remarkable compilation of short fiction by one of the most gifted writers of our time. This volume enriches any library it graces. Highly recommended.

JANA
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