The radiant world of Eudora Welty's art is charged by a poignant
and familiar beauty, and here in a stunning book of her photographs
is a dazzling record of this writer's unique and special
It is unusual-remarkable-for a major writer also to be an
accomplished photographer. Eudora Welty is one of the very few
whose great talent has been expressed in both photographs and
This book brings together in one volume about 250 representative
photographs from the few thousand that she took during the 1930s,
'40s, and '50s. Although her camera's view finder compresses much,
like the frame in which she conceives her fiction, it finds
elements that convey her deep compassion and her artist's
From the confines of her native Mississippi these photographs
unfold the world of Eudora Welty's art, reaching, extending, and
exploring. In the Deep South of Depression times, when she began
writing, she discovered the place into which she had been born and
which would always be her subject. From here, as these photographs
show, she approached and risked the outside world. From rural
Mississippi to New Orleans, Charleston, New York City, and Yaddo,
and then to Ireland, England, and the Continent Welty widened her
vision and expanded her art. These photographs reveal that both in
her fiction and in the pictures she took it has always been in
place, in the special qualities of what is local, that she found
her impulse. "I was smitten by the identity of place wherever I
was," she said in 1989, "from Mississippi on---I still am."
The legions of appreciators of Welty's photographs see in them
the feelings and vision that are the hallmarks of her great
literary art in such novels as "Losing Battles" and "The Optimist's
Daughter," in her memoir "One Writer's Beginnings," and in her
volumes of short stories.
This serves as a definitive book of Welty's photographs,
compromising pictures from her personal collection, from the
repository of Welty materials at the Mississippi Department of
Archives and History, and from "One Time, One Place," an album of
her Depression-era photographs published in 1972.
Included are Mississippi scenes and people, emblems of folklife,
carnival signs and performers, photographs taken in CHarleston, New
Orleans, Mexico, New York City, Ireland, Paris, Nice, Italy, Wales,
and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a significant group of Welty's
portraits of family members and friends.
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