[RGC 41.] The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

[read: preferable climate for reading is on a front porch swing sipping some sweet tea]


I believe I was nearing the end of my time as a yearbook editor during senior year of high school, (there is this immense feeling of emancipation after the final deadline) when I began wondering what I would do without it taking over my life. No more all-nighters, stress-relieving dance parties, and embarrassing themed photos? (I was wrong about all these disappearing from my life, by the way) I reached out to my English teacher/advisor/friend and asked if she had any suggestions for good books; really getting wild after finishing this deadline, right?

She brought me to The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty which means she brought me to my favorite short story author to date. Eudora Welty has a pretty amazing story and background. She won the Pulitzer Prize, my goodness. I think it was her knack for finding gems in everyday life that brought her to such critical acclaim. And a matter-of-fact way of writing about it, with fearless conjunctions and slang, writing about people as people.

From this collection, my favorite story is “Why I Live at the P.O.” because I picture Eudora Welty herself staring into a post office, seeing a girl ironing and building a story. Which is what she did when she wrote this story. I think that’s one of the major breakthroughs in 20th-century literature: finding inspiration everywhere and rolling with it. Besides, her writing is funny and smart and so stands the test of time. As I work on my own short stories (more on that later), I can’t help but remember the best ones I’ve read being written by Eudora Welty, a woman on the verge of seeing into the normalities of human life and finding them to be just plain extraordinary.

10 out of 10 would recommend.

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