Classic Views of American Life: Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Fiction

Eudora Welty, 1909-2001

The Optimist's Daughter


  • Born in Jackson, Mississippi and made her life-long home there.
  • Educated at Mississippi State College for Women and University of Wisconsin. Also studied advertising at the Columbia University School of Business (1930-31).


  • Mississippi, the characteristic locale for most of her fiction.
  • Early work included doing publicity for the WPA, journalism, and painting and photography as modes of aesthetic expression.
  • In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, received the William Dean Howells Medal (1955), the Gold Medal for Fiction of the Naitonal Institute of Arts and Letters (1972), the National Medal for Literature (1980) and two Guggenheim Fellowships (1942, 1949).

Major Writings

A Curtain of Green and Other Stories (1941)
The Wide Net and Other Stories (1943)
The Robber Bridegroom (1942)
Delta Wedding (1946)
The Golden Apples (1949)
The Ponder Heart (1954)
The Bride of Innisfallen and Other Stories (1955)
Losing Battles (1970)
The Optimist's Daughter (1972)
The Eye of the Storm: Selected Essays and Reviews (1977)
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (1980)
One Writer's Beginnings (1984)
The Shoes Bird (1993)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Contempory Authors, New Revision Series, Vol. 32; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vols.1 (1973), 2 (1974), 5 (1976), 14 (1980), 22 (1982), 33 (1985); Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography, Vol. 5: The New Consciousness: 1941-1968; Conversations with Writers II; Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook (1987). All Gale publications.
  • Conversations with Eudora Welty, ed. by Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, 1984.
  • Eudora Welty: Critical Essays, ed. by Peggy whitman Prenshaw, 1979
  • Eudora Welty: Modern Critical Views, ed. by Harold Bloom et al.
  • Eudora Welty, Ruth Vande Kieft, 1962
  • Daughter of the Swan: Love and Knowledge in Eudora Welty's Fiction, by Gail L. Mortimer.
  • Eudora Welty: A Bibliography of Her Work, Noel Polk

Note:  A Eudora Welty website is currently under construction by the same group that created the Walker Percy Internet Literary Site.

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
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