Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
By Eudora Welty, afterword by Noel Polk University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 1578065704, 9/2003) Eudora Welty and William Faulkner crossed literary and personal paths. Eudora Welty said that being in the same state with the phenomenal William Faulkner was like living near a big mountain. On William Faulkner reveals her encounters with that mountain, both personal and literary. The new book brings together Welty’s reviews, essays, lectures, and musings on Faulkner, including such gems as her reviews of Intruder in the Dust and The Selected Letters of William Faulkner, as well as her comments during her presentation of the Gold Medal to Faulkner during the National Institute of Arts and Letters awards ceremony in 1962. The collection also features an excerpt from a letter she wrote to the novelist Jean Stafford, telling of meeting Faulkner and of going sailing with him. Included too are Welty’s impassioned defense of Faulkner’s work — published as a letter to the New Yorker — and the obituary of the Nobel laureate that she wrote for the Associated Press. In addition, the book includes a cryptic postcard Faulkner wrote to Welty from Hollywood, plus five photographs, and a caricature of Faulkner drawn by Welty during the 1930s. Commenting on the place of both writers in contemporary literature, an essay by the noted literary scholar Noel Polk puts the collection in context and offers assessment and appreciation of their achievements in American literature. On William Faulkner is a valuable resource for exploring Faulkner’s work and sensing Welty’s critical voice. Her sharp critical eye and graceful prose make her an astute commentator on his legacy. Eudora Welty is the author of many novels and story collections, including The Optimist’s Daughter (Pulitzer Prize), Losing Battles, The Ponder Heart, The Robber Bridegroom, A Curtain of Green and Other Stories, as well as three collections of her photographic work—Photographs, Country Churchyards, and One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression (all from the University Press of Mississippi). William Faulkner is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, Sanctuary, As I Lay Dying, among others. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Noel Polk, a professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, is the author of many critical studies on Welty and Faulkner and is the co-editor of the Library of America edition of Faulkner’s works.