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Eudora Welty - Biography

Eudora Welty (1909 - )
Commentary by Karen Bernardo

Eurora Welty's fiction chronicles the South by lovingly revealing the eccentricities of its people. 

She was born in Jackson, Mississippi to strict but loving middle-class parents. Welty's upbringing was conventional, if rather sheltered; because she was bright and her parents could afford it, it was taken for granted that she would go to college, so after high school she went to the Mississippi State College for Women at Columbus, the University of Wisconsin, and the Columbia University School of Advertising. Even as a very young woman, she enjoyed writing fiction, but did not expect to make a career of it.

However, one of the most important boosts to her fiction-writing career turned out to be a job doing public relations for the WPA during the Depression. As part of this job she traveled around Mississippi taking photographs of her fellow Southerners. This sparked the inspiration for her first book of short stories.

Welty's fictional style, sharp at times and lush at others, often features an ending or a twist that takes the reader by surprise. Her stories are often even comic, although her satire is never mean. The short stories of Eudora Welty invariably reveal a concern with values, and often love -- not romance, and certainly not sex, but our boundless yet often frustrated need for meaningful contact with one another.

Would you like to read Welty's stories in their entirety? Click here!

Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

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