Frequently Asked Questions

Since our site has been in operation, the EWR staff has received several questions per week from students and scholars of Eudora Welty's work.  In response to this avid interest in Welty, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help encourage the continuation of Welty scholarship.  If you have a question about Eudora Welty that is not listed below, please email us, and we will be do our best to field your questions and direct you to the appropriate resources.

Question:  How is Welty's writing influenced by, and how does it reflect, "places" in Mississippi and the South.  --Jennifer Thornton

Where to find it:  Albert Devlin, Eudora Welty's Chronicle.

Question:  What distinctly "personal" elements are submerged in Welty's writing: what triggered her to write a given piece, what beliefs or curiosities lurk beneath the surface of invented character and story, what "participation" does she require from the reader, and what does she expect the reader to share with her?  --Sabine Hollstein

Where to find it: 
Peggy Prenshaw, ed., Conversations with Eudora Welty & More Conversations with Eudora Welty;  Paul Binding, The Still Moment: Eudora Welty, Portrait of a Writer.

Question:  How does the reader become more adept at making connections between the pieces of a writer's work, finding patterns among themes, images, characters, etc., that add up to a coherent vision of the writer's career?  --Pat Reinhard

Where to find it:
 Peter Schmidt, The Heart of the Story: Eudora Welty's Short Fiction.  Gail L. Mortimer, Daughter of the Swan: Love and Knowledge in Eudora Welty's Fiction

Question: How does the reader come closer to apprehending the writer's work as the writer apprehended it, in a linear or exploratory or even suddenly explosive and retrospective "discovery," rather than by using the backward look of the critic ("hanging upside down").  --Shannon McLendon 

Where to find it:
 Michael Kreyling, Author and Agent. Suzanne Marrs, The Welty Collection.

Question:  How does the reader find a critical perspective and language to talk about Welty's vision of humanity's place in the universe and the interrelations among human beings?   --Sherry Fowler

Where to find it:
Carol Manning, With Ears Opening Like Morning Glories: Eudora Welty and the Love of Storytelling;  Rebecca Mark, The Dragon's Blood: Feminist Intertextuality in Eudora Welty's 'The Golden Apples.' 

Question:  How does one research an author in such a way that a publishable paper is the result? --Daryl O'Hare 

Where to find it:
W. Craig Turner and Lee Emling Harding, Critical Essays on Eudora Welty

Question: How do Welty's portrayals of  "southern experience" capture, transcend, and possibly occasionally misrepresent the culture and traditions of the south, leading to the perception elsewhere in the world that her work is indeed universal?  --Derrick Harris 

Where to find it:
Ruth Weston, Gothic Traditions and Narrative Techniques in the Fiction of Eudora Welty.

Question: How does the reader learn more about text and subtext in fiction and also increase personal sensitivity to the creative work?  --Gala Rachele

Where to find it:
Franziska Gygax, Serious Daring from Within: Female Narrative Strategies in Eudora Welty's Novels.

Question:  How does the reader get inside Welty's world and discover the best sense of what is "southern" about her perspective?   --Susan McIntire

Where to find it:
Louise Westling, Sacred Groves and Ravaged Gardens: The Fiction of Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O'Connor.
Will Brantley, Feminine Sense in Southern Memoir: Smith, Glasgow, Welty, Hellman, Porter and Hurston.

Question:  Can I learn more about Welty's personal life?

Where to find it:
Welty's own One Writer's Beginnings. Ruth Vande Kieft's Eudora Welty, rev. edition (Twayne, 1987). ALbert Devlin's Eudora Welty's Chronicle: A Story of Mississippi Life. Michael Kreyling's Author and Agent: Eudora Welty and Diarmuid Russell.

Question:  One Writer's Beginnings and The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews are not indexed. How can I access this information?

Where to find it:
Indexes for One Writer's Beginnings and The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews and
Author and Agent: Eudora Welty and Diarmuid are now available online through the EWN. Click the title of the book to view its index. As the EWN publishes more indexes, these too will become available.

For more questions, please email EWN at