The Short Stories of Eudora Welty
A Reading Life Review Project
Today I am starting another Reading Life Review project. I intend to read post at least briefly on all of the collected short stories of Eudora Welty. Maybe I will finish this project in a couple of months or it might take years but I am very happy to be adding it to my projects. My post on her story, "The Well Worn Path" is among the top ten most viewed, out of 1202, posts on my blog so I know world wide interest in her work is very high. ( I am going to repost on stories I have previously read by Welty as I come to them in my sequential reading of her work.)
Today I am posting on the lead story in Welty's first collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green and Other Stories, "Lily Daw and the Three Ladies". The opening line of this story is perfect its is compression of so much of history and society in one sentence.
"Mrs. Watts and Mrs. Carson were both in the post office in Victory when the letter came from the Ellisville Institute for the Feeble Minded of Mississippi."
The news in the letter is great, they learn that their niece Lily, a full grown mentally retarded woman, has been accepted at the Ellisville Institute for the Feeble Minded of Mississippi. They tell each other how happy Lily will be when she hears the great news. Lily came into their care through a family tragedy and they are frankly worried about what kind of trouble Lily, who is is physically a grown and attractive woman, will get herself into and they want her off their hands. When they tell Lily the big news she has big news of her own, she is getting married. Of course this causes great consternation and they demand to know who the identity of the man. They are also concerned if he has done something with Lily. The conversations about this are just perfect. Lily does not want to go to the home for the feeble minded but somehow her aunts get her on the train going to Ellisville. There feelings for her come out totally when we learn that they will not actually acompany her all the way there and will just hope the institute sends someone to pick her up. Then just as the train is ready to leave, Lily sees a man on the train platform and yells out, there he is!.
The rest of the story is just so amazing and speaks so deeply of the cruelty and sexual fears of the older women in the story that I will leave it untold.
Welty is a master of dialect. I loved this story and am totally looking forward to reading all of her short stories.
Do you have a favorite Welty story? Please share your experience with Welty with us.
My thanks to Max u for giving me a gift card which allowed me to purchase the ebook in which I read this story.