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Southern LiterBEARy Portraits
Eudora Welty

Protrait by students of Ms. Tammy Mauney's class
Booneville Middle School, MS

Misssissippi Writers Page

Eudora Welty was born April 13, 1909, in Jackson Mississippi where she lived all her life. She led a very sheltered life and was only away from her family long enough to attend college. She still lives in the family home in Jackson. She never married because she said marriage never came up. Always interested in photography, she has had some exhibitions though she felt that much more of life could be conveyed in words. She said photography taught her that life doesn't hold still.

In 1936 she published her first story in a literary magazine Death of a Traveling Salesman about a salesman who wrecked his car near a young married couples shack. She said of the story that she began writing at a distance but became involved writing from the eyes of the salesman. This technique became the foundation for her writings about human relationships. The Ponder Heart reveals a descendent telling her story to a captive traveling salesman who stays in her hotel. In Why I live at the P.O., Stella runs off with Sister's boyfriend and returns home two years later with a two-year old and an attitude. To protest, Sister moves to the post office where she is post mistress. The story leaves the reader wondering if anyone in the family is sane. In all her stories, Welty has a brilliant ear for dialogue.

Welty is very quiet about her personal life and has instructed her friends and family to remain that way. She writes that there is "no explanation outside fiction" for her stories. She has written an abundance of work and is the only living writer to be granted a place in the series Library of America.

Some works by Eudora Welty include: The Robber Bridegroom -1942, Delta Wedding -1946, The Ponder Heart - 1954, Losing Battles -1970, The Optimist's Daughter - 1972