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This Library of America volume gathers all the long fiction published by the beloved Mississippi writer Eudora Welty. Throughout her long and storied career, Welty has been most famous, perhaps, for her short stories. But it's in her novels that she attempted some of her most ambitious and powerful creations: the idiosyncratic fable that isThe Robber Bridegroom, drawing on legends, local history, folktale, and myth; the underrated, wickedly funny short novelThe Ponder Heart; andLosing Battles, a familial epic 15 years in the making and begun in bits and pieces while Welty cared for her sick mother. In a strange inversion of the author's usual career trajectory, Welty's only attempt at aroman à clefcame late in life, with thePulitzer Prize-winningThe Optimist's Daughter, the quiet, moving, largely autobiographical story of a woman coming to grips with her father's death. The novels alone earn Welty a place as one of the finest writers our century has produced; taken together with the Library of America companion volume,Stories, Essays, & Memoir, it's a body of work that William Maxwell calls "beyond human power of praising." Welty rarely strayed for long from the place of her birth, but her fiction is as capacious as the human heart itself. Like Faulkner, she has taken her own corner of Mississippi and made it encompass the world.
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ISBN-10:  188301154X
ISBN-13:  978-1883011543
Author:  Eudora Welty
Publisher:  Library of America
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review by . May 06, 2013
A tersely written novel whose value rises to the occasion once the book is fully read and absorbed.
The Optimist's Daughter was a subtle read. Yet, Welty expertly conveys the colorful nuances of New Orleans and Mississippi culture, especially Mardi Gras, the assorted southern mansions, a clownishly outfitted cat, the neighborhood as well as their compassionate yet busybody endless curiosity of their meddling behavior. That was just a small component of the novel. She really captures the essence of small town Mayberry life. It's sweet but also rather suffocating without diminishing the …
review by . December 20, 2006
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 …
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Eudora Welty : Complete Novels: The Robber
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