The Optimist's Daughter (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Laurel McKelva, a widow,
takes a leave of absence from her very successful job in Chicago to
return to New Orleans to help care for her ailing father. Trying to be
of comfort to him. Laurel must also endure her very young and selfish
step mother, Fay. After her father's death, she and her step mother
travel back to the family home in Mount Salus, Mississippi to make
arrangements for his funeral. Laurel's jounrey is more than one of miles
and sadness, but also of the heart and of coming to terms with her own

Beautifully and memorably told, Eudora Welty's simple, visual sentences
convey deep and complex relationships as only marvelous writers can do.
The author has a finger on the pulse of this small southern town,
understanding friendships, relatives and the inner workings of our
minds. This short novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1973. A
"must read" for those who love the subtle descriptive portrayals of
human relationships.

— Karen L.


This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel tells the story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Along in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents.

About the Author

Eudora Welty was born in Jackson, Mis-sissippi, in 1909. She was educated locally and at Mississippi State College for Women, the University of Wisconsin, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Her short stories appeared in The Southern Review, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, and other magazines. She lectured at a number of colleges, held the William Allan Neilson professorship at Smith and the Lucy Donnelly Fellowship at Bryn Mawr, and was a lecturer at the Conference of American Studies at Cambridge University. She worked under grants from the Rockefeller and Merrill foundations and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and held a Guggenheim Fellow-ship. She was given honorary degrees from Smith, the University of Wisconsin, Western College for Women, Denison University, the University of the South at Sewanee, and Millsaps College in Jackson. She also received the M. Carey Thomas Award from Bryn Mawr, the Brandeis Medal of Achievement, and the Hollins Medal; her novel The Ponder Heart was awarded the Howells Medal for Fiction by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Eudora Welty died in 2001.

From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679728832
ISBN-10: 067972883X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: August 11th, 1990
Pages: 192
Language: English
Series: Vintage International

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