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A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty

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Mississippi author Eudora Welty, the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series, mentored many of today s greatest fiction writers and is a fascinating woman, having lived the majority of the twentieth century (1909 2001). Her life reflects a century of change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. This biography fo Mississippi author Eudora Welty, the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series, mentored many of today s greatest fiction writers and is a fascinating woman, having lived the majority of the twentieth century (1909 2001). Her life reflects a century of change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. This biography follows this twentieth-century path while telling Welty s story, beginning with her parents and their important influence on her reading and writing life. The chapters that follow focus on her education and her most important teachers; her life during the Depression and how her career, just getting started, is interrupted by World War II; and how she shows independence and courage through her writing during the turbulent civil rights period of the 1950s and 1960s. After years of care giving and the deaths of all her immediate family members, Welty persevered and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for The Optimist s Daughter. Her popularity soared in the 1980s after she delivered the three William E. Massey Lectures to standing-room-only crowds at Harvard, and the lectures were later published as One Writer s Beginnings and became a New York Times bestseller. This biography intends to introduce readers to one of the most significant women writers of the past century, a prolific author who transcends her Mississippi roots and has written short stories, novels, and non-fiction that will endure for all time."


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Mississippi author Eudora Welty, the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series, mentored many of today s greatest fiction writers and is a fascinating woman, having lived the majority of the twentieth century (1909 2001). Her life reflects a century of change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. This biography fo Mississippi author Eudora Welty, the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series, mentored many of today s greatest fiction writers and is a fascinating woman, having lived the majority of the twentieth century (1909 2001). Her life reflects a century of change and is closely entwined with many events that mark our recent history. This biography follows this twentieth-century path while telling Welty s story, beginning with her parents and their important influence on her reading and writing life. The chapters that follow focus on her education and her most important teachers; her life during the Depression and how her career, just getting started, is interrupted by World War II; and how she shows independence and courage through her writing during the turbulent civil rights period of the 1950s and 1960s. After years of care giving and the deaths of all her immediate family members, Welty persevered and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for The Optimist s Daughter. Her popularity soared in the 1980s after she delivered the three William E. Massey Lectures to standing-room-only crowds at Harvard, and the lectures were later published as One Writer s Beginnings and became a New York Times bestseller. This biography intends to introduce readers to one of the most significant women writers of the past century, a prolific author who transcends her Mississippi roots and has written short stories, novels, and non-fiction that will endure for all time."

30 review for A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty

  1. 5 out of 5

    CMRLS Libraries

    Must have for MS libraries. Good solid addition to biography collections. It is targeted at juveniles but it is not written in a way that adults looking for a brief look into her life would not be able to enjoy it and benefit from it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    Must have for MS libraries. Good solid addition to biography collections. It is targeted at juveniles but it is not written in a way that adults looking for a brief look into her life would not be able to enjoy it and benefit from it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    KWinks

    How I missed having to read Welty in both high school and college is beyond me. I started reading A Daring Life knowing nothing about EW and not having read any of her work. As I read about this very cool lady, I was inspired to hunt down her stories. I now have a pile of them. So, if the point of this book was to inspire more people to read EW, mission accomplished. That said, I found this to be a simple read for adults, and a great book for teens. I would highly recommend this to my teens wh How I missed having to read Welty in both high school and college is beyond me. I started reading A Daring Life knowing nothing about EW and not having read any of her work. As I read about this very cool lady, I was inspired to hunt down her stories. I now have a pile of them. So, if the point of this book was to inspire more people to read EW, mission accomplished. That said, I found this to be a simple read for adults, and a great book for teens. I would highly recommend this to my teens who maybe need a biography about a famous woman for a report and I would also put it into the hands of a kid who loves to read about strong females (you know that kid who started with the Dear Americas and then moved on to bios of Anne Frank, A. Earhart, etc). I am not sure that a younger (tween) kid would understand why EW was very daring, especially if they do not have a grasp of the history of the time. Being anti-racism, unmarried, and a writer in a time when males dominated the field was pretty cool, but easily missed if the reader does not understand the time period. A Daring Life really captures the TWO talents of Welty. She was not only a gifted writer, but also a talented photographer. This comes across clearly here with the inclusion of the photos in the book. There is also a great message about the power of having a circle of true friends in this book. I will be recommending this title for my library.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    My book club read The Optimist's Daughter last week, and this concise but well-researched biography illuminates her life and times for readers interested in her work. Particularly engaging topics were her devotion to her mother's garden, her efforts to continually maintain the friendships she established, her thoughts on civil rights in the turbulent 1960s, and her interest in travel and photography. Contains a timeline, an appendix of her artwork (among other appendices), and a bibliography for My book club read The Optimist's Daughter last week, and this concise but well-researched biography illuminates her life and times for readers interested in her work. Particularly engaging topics were her devotion to her mother's garden, her efforts to continually maintain the friendships she established, her thoughts on civil rights in the turbulent 1960s, and her interest in travel and photography. Contains a timeline, an appendix of her artwork (among other appendices), and a bibliography for further reading.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    A short life of Welty.

  6. 5 out of 5

    SusanS

    Sort of a summary of the work of other biographers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kkraemer

    This was written as a very general overview of Eudora Welty's life, and I guess it works okay in that capacity. I was interested in knowing more about how she was influenced to write her stories, how a white girl from Jackson had such insight into the people around her, both black and white. After reading the book, I gathered that it came, partly, from having been a photographer, which made me want to see a collection of her photographs. which were not included. There were a number of family pict This was written as a very general overview of Eudora Welty's life, and I guess it works okay in that capacity. I was interested in knowing more about how she was influenced to write her stories, how a white girl from Jackson had such insight into the people around her, both black and white. After reading the book, I gathered that it came, partly, from having been a photographer, which made me want to see a collection of her photographs. which were not included. There were a number of family pictures, etc. (the kind one used to keep in a box somewhere), and I did enjoy them. Probably I would have liked this book more if a) it had added to One Writer's Beginnings: this book is so good, so interesting, so insightful, but so very much from a single perspective. I would have like to have learned more from outside of her thinking and b) it had told not only what she said about Civil Rights, but what inspired her to believe in the way that she did. Also, I sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but really...do we have to call her Eudora in this book? Not Ms. Welty? or Eudora Welty? It just doesn't seem respectful to pretend we're all on a first-name basis. She's soooo much greater a writer than either Carolyn Brown (the book's writer) or me. No way do either of us have the right to be so casual. Probably this is the introduction that I should have read when I first heard of Eudora Welty. She is an amazing writer. The best thing about this book, though, is that it tells what she thought about Phoenix Jackson's grandson, a question I've had for many years and had answered in many ways. Now I know what Ms. Welty thought. Time to get Collected Stories down off the shelf...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jaylia3

    This slim biography is a concise but worthy introduction to Eudora Welty’s life, which covered most of the last century, and it provides insight into how personal circumstances and national events affected Welty’s writing for readers who aren’t yet prepared to tackle a larger book about her. It quotes extensively from the much longer (almost 700 page) biography by Suzanne Marrs, a women author Carolyn J. Brown thanks as a mentor in the acknowledgements, and from Eudora Welty’s own book about her This slim biography is a concise but worthy introduction to Eudora Welty’s life, which covered most of the last century, and it provides insight into how personal circumstances and national events affected Welty’s writing for readers who aren’t yet prepared to tackle a larger book about her. It quotes extensively from the much longer (almost 700 page) biography by Suzanne Marrs, a women author Carolyn J. Brown thanks as a mentor in the acknowledgements, and from Eudora Welty’s own book about her life, One Writer’s Beginning. Eudora grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and began her writing life as a listener, even as a child always interested in the stories being told around her. Her life encapsulates some of the big events of the 1900’s. She lived through the Great Depression, she had many friends, family members, and an early love interest who fought in World War II, and she supported the Civil Rights movement even in its early days by refusing to speak to segregated audiences. Though caregiving family members put her writing on hold for years, Welty won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter in 1973. Readers of A Daring Life may be inspired to seek out Welty’s stories, novels and essays.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Couillard-Smith

    For a children's biography of an author they may not know, this is a solid read. I think it's a good introduction to Eudora's life, her relationships, and her writing. I wish it had gone a bit deeper into the importance of her work and the context in which she was writing. It scratched the surface, but even I was left wondering why she received the acclaim that she did, and I love her stories. I appreciated the number of photographs and excerpts from Welty's own writing, and found the narrative For a children's biography of an author they may not know, this is a solid read. I think it's a good introduction to Eudora's life, her relationships, and her writing. I wish it had gone a bit deeper into the importance of her work and the context in which she was writing. It scratched the surface, but even I was left wondering why she received the acclaim that she did, and I love her stories. I appreciated the number of photographs and excerpts from Welty's own writing, and found the narrative to be adequately engaging, but I was left feeling like there must have been so much more. In particular, it would have been nice to include more information on her stories, and excerpts from her stories placed in the greater historical and social context. There was a bit of that, but I never got the sense of just how "daring" she was. Or rather, I felt I was told she was daring rather than shown how she was daring. Still, a good biography for budding writers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mscout

    This is advertised as a work "for all ages," but I believe the target audience would be on the younger side of young adult. 4 stars based on that audience (2 stars for an adult reader). In that context, it is a great introduction to the life of one of our great Southern writers. It has a plethora of photographs which really add to the text. As one who hasn't seen the younger side of young adult for decades, I would not necessarily recommend it to someone who has already read a biography of Welty. This is advertised as a work "for all ages," but I believe the target audience would be on the younger side of young adult. 4 stars based on that audience (2 stars for an adult reader). In that context, it is a great introduction to the life of one of our great Southern writers. It has a plethora of photographs which really add to the text. As one who hasn't seen the younger side of young adult for decades, I would not necessarily recommend it to someone who has already read a biography of Welty. Brown relies heavily on the work of Suzanne Marrs and for most adult readers, it would do just as well to go to that source. The book is due in early August of 2012 and I received my copy free from the publisher.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I appreciated this book for its quick picture of an important Mississippian and writer, to whom I relate. I think adults will enjoy what this book has to offer even more than kids, although I'm sure it will be nice for kids to have something easy to relate to for book reports and the like. The photographs are also an important touch that this book has to offer. This is a chronicle of the cultural memory of "Miss Welty" that we Southerners (yes, we Southerners) seem to all cherish. I appreciated this book for its quick picture of an important Mississippian and writer, to whom I relate. I think adults will enjoy what this book has to offer even more than kids, although I'm sure it will be nice for kids to have something easy to relate to for book reports and the like. The photographs are also an important touch that this book has to offer. This is a chronicle of the cultural memory of "Miss Welty" that we Southerners (yes, we Southerners) seem to all cherish.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Great introduction to Welty's life. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't care to delve into Marrs's biography, and even to those who've read everything on Welty. I now look forward to reading One Writer's Beginnings. I feel like that book paired with Brown's quick, engaging read would be great companion pieces. Great introduction to Welty's life. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't care to delve into Marrs's biography, and even to those who've read everything on Welty. I now look forward to reading One Writer's Beginnings. I feel like that book paired with Brown's quick, engaging read would be great companion pieces.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    This is meant to be a intro to Eudora Welty and Carolyn Brown does a great job at introducing her. I hope this biography encourages others to read Eudora Welty -- a great story teller, a great writer, a great person. I know this has inspired me to re-read her writings, including Suzanne Marrs' biography of Welty. This is meant to be a intro to Eudora Welty and Carolyn Brown does a great job at introducing her. I hope this biography encourages others to read Eudora Welty -- a great story teller, a great writer, a great person. I know this has inspired me to re-read her writings, including Suzanne Marrs' biography of Welty.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lewis

    I liked this bio, but it somehow lacked any energy, simply stating facts with no real emotion or investment attached to it. Ms. Welty is a favorite author (and photographer) so this offering of her life was mediocre at best.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rick Rapp

    This little book is a quick read and it does justice to the spirit of Welty, a woman of not only great literary skill, but also deeply held beliefs on justice and friendship. For those unfamiliar with her and her work, I would highly recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annmbray

    A very quick intro to Eudora Welty and some of her writings. It makes me want to read some of her short stories and of course "The Optimist's Daughter," as well as to visit her home on Pinehurst St in Jackson, MS. A very quick intro to Eudora Welty and some of her writings. It makes me want to read some of her short stories and of course "The Optimist's Daughter," as well as to visit her home on Pinehurst St in Jackson, MS.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Well done- written in a very accessible style and it provides a nice look into this interesting author's life. I've always loved the line which is the basis of the title: "A sheltered life can be a daring life as well." Well done- written in a very accessible style and it provides a nice look into this interesting author's life. I've always loved the line which is the basis of the title: "A sheltered life can be a daring life as well."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark Valentine

    The best feature about this short biography is in the collection of photographs and illustrations from Welty's life. But the information presented seemed basic...as if it were mere reporting of information. Accurate, yes, but it lacked warmth and personality. The best feature about this short biography is in the collection of photographs and illustrations from Welty's life. But the information presented seemed basic...as if it were mere reporting of information. Accurate, yes, but it lacked warmth and personality.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    A very solid biography to read through and catch a few glimpses into Welty's fascinating life. Definitely held my interest. A very solid biography to read through and catch a few glimpses into Welty's fascinating life. Definitely held my interest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lus

    Best thing I've read this year. It made me want read Welty and I am currently reading "One Writer's Beginnings" Best thing I've read this year. It made me want read Welty and I am currently reading "One Writer's Beginnings"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim downing

    Good YA biography. The author came and spoke at our school! Very interesting!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sharneel

    This was enlightening perspective on one of America's own writers. A woman apart, she was a proponent of civil rights. A simple narrative read. This was enlightening perspective on one of America's own writers. A woman apart, she was a proponent of civil rights. A simple narrative read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    A pleasant enough short bio with good pictures.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaylan

    Very basic and informative biography, and filled with cute pictures!

  25. 5 out of 5

    April

    This one only gets 3 for The inclusion of Welty's doodles in one of the appendices. This one only gets 3 for The inclusion of Welty's doodles in one of the appendices.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Pumpelly

  27. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Discenza

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen

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