Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010



Eudora Welty


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By Eudora Welty University Press of Mississippi (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 1578065259; Slipcase limited edition, $100, ISBN: 1578065631, 4/2003) “A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out,” Eudora Welty writes in the opening to her 1944 essay “Some Notes on River Country.” The University Press of Mississippi has matched that essay, long out of print, with thirty-two duotone pictures by Welty and others to create the new book Some Notes on River Country. For Welty, the spark of inspiration from Mississippi’s river country Natchez, Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Vicksburg, the ruins of Windsor, and the ghost town of Rodney fueled much of her fiction and shaped her artistic passion to convey a “sense of place.” In his afterword, editor Hunter Cole writes, “‘Some Notes on River Country’ documents her discovery of this terrain and of ‘place,’ which Welty came to recognize as the orienting spring of her fiction.” Originally published in Harper’s Bazaar, this piece evokes both the elemental terrain and notables who traversed it via the river and the Natchez Trace—Aaron Burr, the flatboatman Mike Fink, the villainous Harpe brothers, and John James Audubon, as well as assorted fire-and- brimstone preachers, bandits, planters, and Native Americans. Taking the reader on an imagined journey through river country, Welty combines the genres of travel narrative, character study, and geographical history to give a grand tour of the region. This brilliant portrait of a place is both elegiac and animated as she shows how much has changed, how much can never be recovered, and how much of the old river country remains in its contemporary incarnation. In this setting Welty discovered a presence and a sense of place that stimulated her artistic vision. “Whatever she deemed it to be,” writes Cole, “its pulsating call to Welty never ceased.” Eudora Welty, one of America’s most acclaimed and honored writers, 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 The Wide Net. Three collections of her photographic work—Photographs, Country Churchyards, and One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression—were published by the University Press of Mississippi.

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