Thirteen outstanding short stories by Welty, written between 1937 and 1951. Miss Welty has written some of the finest short stories of modern times ...Show synopsisThirteen outstanding short stories by Welty, written between 1937 and 1951. Miss Welty has written some of the finest short stories of modern times (Orville Prescott, New York Times). Selected and with an Introduction by Ruth M. Vande Kieft.Hide synopsis
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Critic Leslie Fiedler assigned Eudora Welty to the distaff side of Southern Gothic fiction along with Flannery O'Connor and Carson McCullers. But Thirteen Stories, a representative sampling, demonstrates the author's rich, lyrical prose in its impassioned feel for light, color, and weather, her vivid portraiture of place (particularly Mississippi's Natchez Trace, Jackson, and the Yazoo Delta), her creation of widely diverse characters, her ability to describe subtle, interior states of feeling (the influence of Virginia Woolf is clear), and the art to merge the comic and the grotesque to present an idiosyncratic, often comic view of the South.
In stories that are "written by ear" like "Why I Live at the P.O.," Welty lovingly recreates Southern idioms and speech to disclose a way of life, a common wellspring of social traditions, biases, eccentricities, and humor. Other stories present characters who are alienated and marginal to society. In "A Still Moment," the three main characters--including Audubon--are unable to convey the meaning of their private visions, each alone in his obsession. "A Worn Path" follow an aged black woman Phoenix on her symbolic journey to obtain medicine for her sick grandson. "Powerhouse" is modeled after the jazz pianist Fats Waller, and dream and reality are undifferentiated; the contemporary reader may feel some unease about descriptions such as "obscene, hideous, barbarous, monstrous." That caveat aside, this selection suggests the astonishing range of this Southern writer's work (amply displayed in her Collected Stories).
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