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The Optimist's Daughter ()

Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) (1973)

This is the excruciating story of a southern girl who returns home on the death of her fairly aged father & proves completely unable to cope with it.  She battles through 200 pages of hysteria & confrontations with her trophy wife step-mother, until she comes to terms with her past & her father's passing.

I waited and waited for something to happen or some deep thoughts to be unfurled, but waited for naught.


Grade: (D)


Book-related and General Links:
    -FEATURED AUTHOR : Eudora Welty (NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (Eudora Welty , October 19, 1952, NY Times)
    -OBIT : Author Eudora Welty Dies at 92 (Alban Krebs, July 23, 2001, NY Times)
    -OBIT : Eudora Welty, prize-winning author, dies (JACK ELLIOTT JR.,   THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
    -OBIT : Eudora Welty, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Dead at 92  (AP, July 23, 2001)
    -OBIT : Author Eudora Welty dies at 92 (Bob Minzesheimer, 07/23/2001 , USA TODAY)
    -TRIBUTE : Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty (David Kipen, SF Chronicle)
    -ESSAY with Links :  Katharine and Eudora (Inigo Thomas, Slate, Idea of the Day)
    -Happy 90th Birthday (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
    -Eudora Welty: A Hometown Perspective
    -Eudora Welty Newsletter
    -Through Eudora's Eyes
    -Mississippi Writers Page: Eudora Welty
    -Literary Research Guide: Eudora Welty (1909 - )
    -ESSAY: The Necessary Optimist: Eudora Welty's hard-earned comic vision makes her a rare and valuable presence in the American literary procession. Yet her standing as a modern classic should not divert us from the rewards of reading her closely (Jay Tolson, Wilson Quarterly)
    -Review: Cunning Time  (New York Review of Books, Michael Wood)
    -Review: Complete Novels (NY Times)


I have to agree with the former comment. It seems, based on your review, that you've not read the same book. I'm not sure where you find the hysteria in Laurel. And I found paragraph after paragraph which showed the depth of the book--her unveiling of memory and everything it encompasses. Welty, like so many other Southern writers, is quiet in her exploration of truth and understanding. She just requires good and close readers.

- Amanda

- May-01-2005, 14:27


It's too bad that you felt you waited for naught. Have many trains roared by you unseen, unheard?

- Beth

- Jul-19-2004, 12:09