Literary Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
#1  sun surfer 11-10-2017, 10:10 AM
'"The nickname of the train was the Yellow Dog. Its real name was the Yazoo-Delta. It was a mixed train. The day was the 10th of September, 1923-afternoon. Laura McRaven, who was nine years old, was on her first journey alone."

So begins Delta Wedding, Eudora Welty's portrait of a large and clamorous Southern family living on their plantation in the Mississippi Delta, and into whose midst Laura McRaven, whose mother has just died, is thrust. When Laura arrives, the Fairchilds are preparing for the marriage of Dabney, not the oldest but the prettiest of the Fairchild girls. Drama leads to drama, revelation to revelation. The result is a sometimes riotous portrait of a Southern family and the motherless child who learns to become one of them. Eudora Welty's first novel remains an American classic.'

'Eudora Welty (1909-2001) was born in Jackson, Mississippi. She worked as a photographer during the Depression and published her first book, a collection of short stories, in 1941. In addition to short fiction, Welty wrote novels, novellas, essays, and reviews, and was the winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. By the time of her death in 2001, Welty had established herself as one of the most important and beloved American writers of the twentieth century.'


This is the MR Literary Club selection for November 2017. Whether you've already read it or would like to, feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time, and guests are always welcome! So, what are your thoughts on it?

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#2  sun surfer 11-12-2017, 09:44 AM
I'll be starting on the audiobook narration by Sally Darling soon.

I think it's interesting that we're going from one large family gathering in October's selection to another large family gathering in November's.

#3  Bookworm_Girl 11-13-2017, 12:03 AM
From a funeral to a wedding. This time we get the point of view from multiple characters, albeit always the women and from outwards looking inwards on the family. We've also read several books on grief/loss this year told from multiple roles: spouse, sibling, child, etc.

This book also addresses the loss of men in the family through several generations, especially by wars such as WWI and the Civil War. The book was published in 1946; Eudora's brothers had fought overseas during WWII as did her friend John Robinson to whom the book is dedicated. The effects of war and how women dealt with continuing life while the men were gone was personal to her.

#4  fantasyfan 11-16-2017, 07:33 PM
Thank you for those points. . They help explain the very deeply felt personal ambience of the novel's world.

#5  Bookworm_Girl 11-17-2017, 02:16 AM
Marmion was modeled after the antebellum mansion Waverly. Eudora and her college friends used to walk there. On the walk was a railroad trestle which inspired its appearance as a focal point in the book.

These photos and description of Waverly Mansion are interesting.

#6  Bookworm_Girl 11-17-2017, 02:27 AM
Quote fantasyfan
Thank you for those points. . They help explain the very deeply felt personal ambience of the novel's world.
During the war Eudora would calm her anxieties about her brothers and friends by visiting Robinson's plantation. Here she read the journals of his great-grandmother, Nancy McDougall Robinson, who came to the delta as a young bride. The journals served as an inspiration for characters and events in Delta Wedding so I think that adds authenticity to the novel's world. I read that she chose to tell the story through 9-yr old cousin Laura from Jackson because Eudora felt like an outsider to the delta too so this voice was more real to her.

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