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29. Eudora Welty

Jan Nordby Gretlund

Subject Literature » American Literature

Place United States of America » American South

Key-Topics women's writing

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631224044.2004.00030.x


In many readers' minds “the Mississippi writer” is a special category. To call a writer “a Mississippian” is more than placing her geographically. The categorization is, of course, a qualification of “writer,” and it may even be understood as a limitation. But like most limitations it is also, as Flannery O'Connor wrote in a comment about Eudora Welty, “a great blessing, perhaps the greatest blessing a writer can have,” because it serves as “a gateway to reality.” What Welty always knew was that her imagination was bound to the reality of life in her native state; her fiction came out of a particular landscape and was based on her familiarity with the State of Mississippi and its people. It was no real surprise to anybody that President Clinton called Welty on April 13, 1994 to congratulate her on her eighty-fifth birthday, for Eudora Welty's reputation as an outstanding twentieth-century American writer is secure among professional critics and the general public, both at home and abroad. Her initial success as a writer was the result of her achievement in the genre of the short story, as demonstrated in the collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net and Other Stories , and The Golden Apples , published in the 1940s, and The Bride of the Innisfallen (1955), all gathered – with two later stories – as Collected Stories in 1980. While critics do not concur on all aspects ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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