Magazine article Humanities

Remembering Eudora Welty

Magazine article Humanities

Remembering Eudora Welty

Article excerpt

WHEN WRITER EUDORA WELTY passed away in July at the age of ninety-two, she left behind a sympathetic, but sharp-eyed vision of the American South at mid-century.

Although she rarely modeled her stories on real people, she looked for inspiration in the world around her. Welty, a winner of the NEH Charles Frankel Prize, told Chairman William R. Ferris how one short story, "A Worn Path," was seeded just from seeing a woman walking alone across a field near her hometown, Jackson, Mississippi. Her stories are determinedly set in the South; yet Welty distilled her experiences and observations of the human spirit into stories that transcend their specific place and time.

Welty observed another side of the South when she worked for the Works Progress Administration, interviewing people across Mississippi. Her job didn't include photography, but she industriously picked it up on her own. Her photographs from that time show a rural world ravaged by the effects of poverty; they were later published in a book called One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression.

Welty said her work with the WPA had an ultimate effect on her writing. …

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