Eudora Welty Biography

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Eudora Welty was an American novelist whose books centered around the American South. Welty is famously known for her book, The Optimist 's Daughter, which she earned a pulitzer prize for in 1973. In Welty’s memoir, “One Writer’s Beginnings” she reminisces on her childhood memories during the early 1900s in Jackson, Mississippi. Her memoir focuses on her early life with reading and the impact it had on her life. The intensity and value of Welty’s early experiences with reading and books is displayed through her descriptions of the librarian, Mrs. Calloway, her own experiences with reading, and the descriptions of her mother’s influence on her life as a reader.

Welty’s descriptions of Mrs. Calloway, the town librarian, reveals the importance …show more content…

When Welty is only nine years old, her mother personally visits Mrs. Calloway and gives Welty “permission to read any book she wants from the shelves, children or adult.” She wished for Welty to have her “own library card to check out books for [herself].” Welty’s mother wishes for her to be independent with her thoughts and experience the world though all books. She believed that Welty should not be constrained by any barriers that Mrs. Calloway could put up. Welty’s mother provides the extra detail of “children or adult” books being permitted to make clear that Welty should be allowed to read with no restrictions. Welty remembers her mother reading a variety of books from “The Origin of Species” to fiction such as “The Man in Lower Ten.” Later in her life, she is still seen reading the “war news” in “Time magazine.” Welty’s mother wants Welty to gain different perspectives from a different variety of books and reading material because that is what she herself did. Along with Welty, her mother “was very sharing of [the] feeling of insatiability” when it came to reading. Welty remembers her mother “as reading so much of the time while doing something else.” While making bread, her mother would “pick [the book] up, sit by the kitchen window and find her place, with one eye on the oven.” Welty’s mother does not let her life interfere with her reading. Welty’s vivid remembrance of the details of her mother’s reading habits reveals the value of reading her mother had shown her at a young age. Welty recalls her mother enjoying her reading to such an extent she would do it during anything. Her mother’s love for reading passed onto Welty through her experiences of what her mother did when Welty was a child. The vividness and lucidity of the details Welty uses to describe memories of her mother, convey the value and intensity of those experiences and

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