Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter (Library of America #101)” as Want to Read:
Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter (Library of America #101)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter (Library of America #101)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  19 reviews
This two-volume collection reveals the singular imaginative power of one of America's most admired Southern writers. "Complete Novels" gathers all of Welty's longer fiction, from "The Robber Bridegroom" (1942) to her Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Optimist's Daughter" (1972).
Hardcover, 1012 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Library of America (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Complete Novels, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Complete Novels

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
182nd out of 777 books — 1,872 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best Southern Books
159th out of 419 books — 568 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 413)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Feb 12, 2012 Heila added it
Shelves: fiction
Enjoyed the first story.
Bogged down on the second, and am now moving on from this book/collection. She has some stunning turns of phrase though.
For Example, the below description of a girl on a train. I so enjoy train travel and this so wonderfully describes it:

"Thoughts went out of her head and the landscape filled it. In the Delta, most of the world seemed sky. The clouds were large--larger than horses or houses, larger than boats or churches or gins, larger than anything except the fields th
Meg M
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eudora Welty’s novels, like her stories, are fascinating for the light they shed on life in Mississippi in the early to mid-20th century. Most noticeable are the strong family ties and the penchant for storytelling that makes the past one with the present. These traits both define and limit the characters, giving them a place in the local society but in many cases preventing them from breaking out of stasis. People live by a code that doesn’t make sense in every application, and Welty implies th ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by The Robber Bridegroom -- I have varying degrees of hatred for all of Welty's short stories -- and thought perhaps I would like her other novels. Turns out that was my high point.

Welty was queen of capturing the south -- all of the ugly bits of it. The thing was, her writing makes it seem like she was perfectly fine with, say, the racism. I can't get past that. Each story or novel is populated with truly awful people; I think the only reason I liked The Robber Brideg
I'm currently reading Losing Battles, which is a sprawling novel set in rural Mississippi in the 1930s. And wow, is it rural! Almost no one has a telephone and the local store is closed on Sundays. Each episode is quite drawn out, with a lot of talking, talking, talking, but it's quite humorous.

I've read the other novels in this collection years ago and Delta Wedding is my favorite. All her novels deal with eccentric Southern families, for whom she undoubtedly has great affection.
Paul Jellinek
This has all her novels in one volume. LOved them all--except "Losing Battles," which was a real disappointment. So tedious and unWelty-like, in fact, that I couldn't finish it. "The Ponder Heart," on the other hand, was terrific, and "The Optimist's Daughter" was even better: a flawless gem of a book that was even better on this second reading than it was when I first read it about five years ago. One of the great American novels of the 20th century.
"Delta Wedding" in particular is a masterpiece. For lack of a better description, her writing is as symbolically rich as Joyce, her work as lyrical as DH Lawrence or even Nabakov, and yet she's enormously undervalued in spite of her reputation. People usually cite Faulkner as the South's most important writer. I prefer Welty.
A little bit of everything....humor, raelism...the necessity for humor in the face of realism. life is in see the life...don't miss a single detail because each is part of the story..and we are all in a story...that is how human Welty simply is.
try to get a book of her is the same.
Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, and The Optimist's Daughter are three of my all-time favorite books. You feel the sweat, smell the food, and hear the crickets as you read about the South in Welty's books. She is one of the best story-tellers ever.
The Optimist's Daughter. I listened to Welty herself read the book on audio tape and fell in love with her voice and accent and delivery. Then I wanted to read the book itself, which is wonderful, though perhaps improved by hearing it first from her.
I read all but Losing Battles from this collection. Delta Wedding was especially amazing and very Jamesian. The Robber Bridgegroom was very funny (though distressingly pro-rape).
Welty makes me laugh, cry, and drop my mouth in awe over her style. She's one of our greatest American writers.
I read "The Optimist's Daughter". It won the Pulitzer, but I didn't care very much for it.
Feb 22, 2010 Shari is currently reading it
I love Eudora Welty and will read anything she wrote.
I love her.
Daniel M!
Just re-read. 'Delta Wedding' is really baller.
Debbie Maskus
Read for Southern Voices-Delta Wedding 9/2006
Sorry, I just didn't enjoy this.
I like The Ponder Heart!!
Pattie Benger
Love her style
Joseph marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
Gloria Slaughter
Gloria Slaughter marked it as to-read
Dec 20, 2014
Ed Grimmer
Ed Grimmer marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Jana marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2014
Peter L Derks
Peter L Derks marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Jane M.
Jane M. marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2014
Ivy Lynn Grunert
Ivy Lynn Grunert marked it as to-read
Dec 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Novels: The House of Mirth / The Reef / The Custom of the Country / The Age of Innocence (Library of America #30)
  • Main Street / Babbitt (Library of America #59)
  • Novels and Stories, 1920-1922
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, A Death in the Family, and Shorter Fiction
  • Novels, 1936-1940
  • McCullers: Complete Novels: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Ballad of the Sad Cafe / The Member of the Wedding / Clock Without Hands (Library of America #128)
  • Pierre/Israel Potter/The Piazza Tales/The Confidence-Man/Tales/Billy Budd (Library of America #24)
  • Complete Novels and Stories
  • Novels 1942-52: The Moon is Down/Cannery Row/The Pearl/East of Eden (Library of America #132)
  • Early Novels and Stories
  • Collected Plays 1944-1961 (Library of America #163)
  • The Sheltering Sky, Let it Come Down, The Spider's House
  • Collected Stories and Other Writings
  • Complete Plays, 1932-1943 (Library of America #42)
  • London: Novels and Stories: The Call of the Wild/White Fang/The Sea-Wolf/Klondike and Other Stories (Library of America #6)
  • Complete Stories, 1892-1898
  • Historical Romances (Library of America #71)
  • Novels and Stories
Eudora Alice Welty was an award-winning American author who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Her book The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 and she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous awards. She was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America.

Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and lived a sig
More about Eudora Welty...
The Collected Stories The Optimist's Daughter One Writer's Beginnings (William E.Massey Senior Lectures in the History of American Civilization) (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) Delta Wedding The Ponder Heart

Share This Book