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The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty
The Optimist's Daughter
by: (author)
3.57 70
“It is easy to praise Eudora Welty,” as Robert Penn Warren has written, “but it is not so easy to analyze the elements in her work that make it so easy—and such a deep plea-sure—to praise. To say that may, indeed, be the highest praise, for it implies that the work, at its best, is so fully... show more
“It is easy to praise Eudora Welty,” as Robert Penn Warren has written, “but it is not so easy to analyze the elements in her work that make it so easy—and such a deep plea-sure—to praise. To say that may, indeed, be the highest praise, for it implies that the work, at its best, is so fully created, so deeply realized, and formed with such apparent in-nocence that it offers only itself, in shining unity.”The Optimist’s Daughter is Miss Welty’s work at its best, and reconfirms Mr. Warren’s general tribute, including the difficulty of analysis: Laurel Hand, long absent from the South, comes from Chicago to New Orleans, where her father dies after surgery. With Fay, the stupid new young wife of her father, Laurel returns to her former Mississippi home and stays a few days after the funeral for reunions with old friends. In a night alone in the house she grew up in, she confronts elements of the past and comes to a better understanding of it and of herself and her parents.The simplicity of the story belies its universal implications. This is a story of “the great interrelated family of those who never know the meaning of what happened to them.” With unsurpassed artistry Miss Welty shows us Laurel’s struggle to come to terms with her father’s death and with the life of the small Mississippi town he was so intimately involved with. In trying to deal with people who, like Fay, never even care to un-derstand what has happened to them, Laurel realizes that she too has kept her distance from a shared past. Like so many today, Laurel has lived in a city where she survives by avoiding any real involvement with those around her. It is only the shock of her father’s death that leads her to new insights into the relationship between love and death and memory. Certainly this book will be a rewarding experience to readers of Miss Welty’s earlier work. Newcomers will discover its many dimensions and great substance: the large cast of characters and the complexity of their relationships, the rich humor and subtlety of dialogue that reveals without describing, the wideness of scope compressed within the boundaries of a short novel, the wisdom and discernment that underlie the author’s vision of human life.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780375508356 (037550835X)
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 192
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud
Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud rated it
3.5 Another beautiful title for the Book-A-Day meme
Another New Review! THE OPTIMIST'S DAUGHTER http://tinyurl.com/p9ualay Such a beautiful title, beautiful writing, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1973...and so much to say about getting older, losing folks you love. A wonderful book I'm glad I read.
JeffreyKeeten
JeffreyKeeten rated it
"Memory lived not in initial possession but in the freed hands, pardoned and freed, and in the heart that can empty but fill again, in the patterns restored by dreams."Eudora WeltyEudora Welty won the Pulitzer Prize for this book in 1973. It was written much later than the bulk of the rest of her w...
Beauty and the Book
Beauty and the Book rated it
5.0
Enjoyed this book thoroughly. Another one I wish I would have bought.
Books by the Lake
Books by the Lake rated it
3.0 The Optimist's Daughter
The year before Eudora Welty began writing this book, her mother and last remaining brother died (her other brother had died six years previously). Before that, Welty had spent years caring for her mother in declining health, and their relationship had always been difficult and guilt-laden. The Opti...
demerson19
demerson19 rated it
3.0 The Optimist's Daughter
I've liked Welty's work in the past, and this is a good book. But I would leave like it at that even though it won the Pulitzer. It was the Judge's character and his recent actions (the young second wife) that I felt were not handled well enough. I can see many reasons why he may decided to just die...
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