Eudora Welty’s Centennial year is now in full swing, and along with all the events and celebrations come three new books pertaining to the great Mississippi writer. Pearl Amelia McHaney edited all three collections and each one is a gem in its own right. Welty was not only the master of the short story, but also a political activist, a photographer and a fierce friend. These three books spotlight Welty’s multifaceted life.
“Occasions” compiles selected writings of Welty’s short works. These pieces include her promotion of elected officials, support for reading and the arts and the selling of war bonds. Also collected in “Occasions” are Welty’s tributes to other authors such as Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy. Welty’s humor and wit pervade everything she wrote and these pieces are as much fun to read as is her fiction.
In “Eudora Welty: Writer’s Reflections Upon First Reading,” a vast array of great writers recall their first reactions to Welty’s writings. Among those whose articles are compiled in this book are Ellen Douglas, Reynolds Price, Alice Munro, Willie Morris and Barry Hannah. This special book of remembrances only reasserts Welty’s fame and is a nice addition to any collection.
When people hear that Welty was also a photographer, they are often surprised. However, Welty is consider an amazing photographer and her photographs have been published in several books. In “Eudora Welty as Photographer,” McHaney has collected 43 of Welty’s photographs that were taken in the 1930s and 1940s. In this new collection, all but nine have never been published. Welty’s keen eye captures sights that highlights the character of Mississippi.
On April 15 at 5 p.m., McHaney will be signing these three books at Welty’s favorite bookstore, Lemuria. Come pick up you Welty collections, get them signed by McHaney and rejoice in Welty’s greatness.
Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson