Eudora Welty letters released 2 decades after author’s death

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is permitting the general public to have get entry to to further papers from the past due writer Eudora Welty, together with letters written by means of contributors of her circle of relatives.

The liberate got here Wednesday at the 113th anniversary of Welty’s delivery. She died July 23, 2001. According to her will, the circle of relatives correspondence was once to stay personal for twenty years after her loss of life.

Welty, who lived maximum of her existence in Jackson, was once identified for the lyrical high quality of her brief tales and was once awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her brief novel, “The Optimist’s Daughter,” published in 1972. While establishing herself as a writer, Welty photographed scenes of everyday life in Mississippi during the Great Depression for the Works Progress Administration.

Welty’s niece, Mary Alice White, said in a news release from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History that the newly released letters begin with the courtship of Welty’s parents. White said they also include Welty’s correspondence with relatives and papers and letters from others in the family.


“Because these letters were not technically the property of Eudora — they belong to the letter writer — I think Eudora wanted them sealed to respect the privacy of those still living,” White mentioned.

The Eudora Welty Collection was established in 1957, when she donated manuscripts, photographs and correspondence to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The department said the Welty Collection has drafts, revised copies and printer’s versions of her works, including stories, books, essays, reviews, lectures, speeches and drama. The collection also contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of Welty, memorabilia, and negatives and photographs taken by Welty and her father.

Harriet Pollack, Welty scholar and affiliate professor at the College of Charleston, said in the news release that the newly released correspondence provides insight about Welty’s parents; her siblings and their families; her grandmother and great grandmother and their children.


“Through their intimate and everyday interactions with one another, we also come to know so much more about the woman and the writer, Eudora Welty,” Pollack said. “Astonishingly, an overly personal lady has unpredictably made generations of private historical past to be had to these touched by means of her artwork, inviting us to higher perceive and to extra absolutely interact the elusive lady at the back of it.”

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