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Jennifer Dee

What an interesting post I loved the video of her photographs. If anyone is interested in learning more of Eudora Welty then I think you would enjoy the web site which shows the house that she lived in all of her life and the wonderful gardens which was another passion of hers.


What an intriguing posting of a delightful essay by Eudora Welty. I have enjoyed her works and will have to read this piece some day soon. I can just imagine this bright young girl, petticoat on as she rides her bike for her ration of books.

Keep your essays close at hand and you will get through them. Sometimes, I find, in the middle of mayhem, or just at the perfect calm, I'll pick up one of the books I have around with short stories or essays and read them. They wait for me with no demands and give me respite when I least expect them to. Enjoy your volume there.


This sounds like a lovely essay. I read her book One Writer's Beginnings (I think that was the title)and liked it. I didn't realize she was such a good photographer!

Liz F

I read one of Eudora Welty's novels years ago, so long ago in fact that I can't actually remember which one which is a bit shaming!
The library have her collected short stories so I have requested that but the really cheap copies that are available on Amazon are sooo tempting...


You've sold me: this reminds me of one of my favourite Barbara Kingsolver essays, the one in which she discusses her early reading and library experiences in High Tide in Tucson.


This book sounds wonderful. I do enjoy essays. Eudora Welty is an author I've been really wanting to explore more of. I love the bit about how her librarian wouldn't let anyone she could see through come into the library!


Jennifer--Thanks very much for the great link, which I have only taken a peek at but am looking forward to exploring more of. It would be cool to visit her house--she certainly lived in it for a very long time!
Penny--Isn't that a great image of her on her bicycle? I've yet to read anything else by her, but this essay was a great (if brief) taste. I know I have a book or two by her so need to add her to my list of American authors to read. I do keep my essay collections next to my computer--sometimes it is just a matter of opening them up and picking an essay to read and then giving myself a little time to do so. I too often feel rushed and I hate that.
Stefanie--That sounds like an interesting book as well. And her photographs were really good, weren't they? She might have made a wonderful photographer as well.
Liz--I hate to think of all the books that have faded from my memory! I've never gotten around to reading Eudora Welty, but I do have a couple of books sitting on my shelves. A step in the right direction anyway. I bet I could easily find a few used copies locally as well by her.
Buried in Print--I think you'll like this, if you enjoy reading about books/readers. I wasn't sure at first where she was going with her essay, but it was so good. And I've read just one essay by Barbara Kingsolver, but I will have to look up High Tide in Tucson now--I know my library has it. I also love reading about bookish topics and lots of essays seem to take books and reading as subjects.
Rachel--Even though I drag my feet I also love essays--only I find it hard writing about them! The time she is writing of must have been in the 20s--the librarian was certainly of the highest discretion! Petticoats! Imagine turning away a patron for lack of following a dress code.


I'd like to read that essay. I've just read Welty's The Optimist's Daughter and she is a brilliant writer. It reminded me a little of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. She won't replace Willa Cather.


Thank you for writing about your experiences reading essays. It's definitely hard for me to choose those over a novel but I really need to give them more of a chance. I need to make a note of this collection!


Nicola--This was a wonderful essay and if you can get your hands on it, I think you'd like it. I'm not sure if it is online, though I didn't see it on a quick glance. I have The Optimist's Daughter as well as some of her short stories. I need to read more by her. I've yet to read Gilead and have only just discovered Willa Cather who I think is marvelous--she would be hard to replace.
Iliana--Maybe I can get back on track with my essays--I really enjoyed this one. I always want to pick a novel over anything else, too, but even an hour a week devoted to essays would be worth it.

Dani, it was striking that J.C. Oates included one of her own essays in the Best of the Century, which she edited. I have not read it yet and cannot say if she's right in her self-assessment. Her judgment in honoring herself seems a little awkward.


Historical Present--I thought it a little unusual that the editor put in her own essay as well. I don't think of JCO as an essayist, but I did read it and it was good, but with her trademark gothic quality. However, Philip Loptate put in a couple of his essays in the other book I've been reading from--The Art of the Personal Essay, which he edited. Maybe it's not so strange, but it does make you look twice!

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