Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, April 4, 2014

E is for Eudora--that's Miss Welty to you...

Eudora Welty wrote lit fic mostly, but my two favorite books of hers are The Robber Bridegroom, which is sort of a fairy tale based on the Grimm fairy tale, and The Ponder Heart, a hilarious book about "Uncle Daniel Ponder," a wealthy old man who ends up on trial for the alleged murder of his white trash teenage bride.  It's a short book, barely more than a novella, and it's got a lot to say about family,  a topic that also was at the heart of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Optimist's Daughter, which was published 42 years ago.

The Robber Bridegroom was turned into a Broadway musical in 1975 starring Barry Bostwick as the title character. The book and lyrics were written by Alfred Uhry (himself a Pulitzer Prize winner) and the music by Robert Waldman.  The show is popular in high schools, and you can find the original cast album here.

Eudora was one of a generation of writers who defined what's now called "Southern Literature." She was born 12 years after William Faulkner, and 15 years before Flannery O'Connor and Truman Capote.If you enjoy regional literature, you really should check her out.

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