April 13

This Day in History

Literary

Apr 13, 1909:

Eudora Welty is born

Southern writer Eudora Welty is born in Jackson, Mississippi.

Welty, whose father owned an insurance company, led a sheltered life. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1929 and studied advertising at Columbia University School of Business. When she returned to Mississippi in 1931, she worked as a radio writer and newspaper society writer while working on fiction on the side. She also worked for the Works Progress Administration, taking photographs and recording interviews with Jackson residents. She remained an avid photographer throughout her life.

Welty's first short story, The Death of a Traveling Salesman, was published in 1936. For the next two years, her work appeared regularly in the well-respected Southern Review. Her first book of stories, A Curtain of Green, was published in 1941, followed by the Wide Net in 1943 and The Robber Bridegroom in 1942. She won the prestigious O. Henry Award for best short fiction of the year in 1942 and 1943 and won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1972 novel, The Optimist's Daughter.

Welty died on July 23, 2001.

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