From the Bookshelf of On the Southern Literary Trail

The Optimist's Daughter
Start date
August 1, 2012
Finish date
August 31, 2012
Group Reads: Pre-1980

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Group Discussions About This Book

* Initial Impressions: Losing Battles, by Eudora Welty - June 2017
By Tom , "Big Daddy" · 40 posts · 30 views
last updated Jun 23, 2017 06:11PM
Suttree, Initial impressions, May, 2017
By Tom , "Big Daddy" · 70 posts · 47 views
last updated Jun 13, 2017 11:53AM
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What Members Thought

Eudora Welty is considered one of the great American writers of the 20th century. With a life spanning the majority of the century, she wrote a plethora of stories and novels. Her stellar work personifying the southern genre of writing won multiple awards over the span of her lifetime. None of the novels, however, garnered as much praise as The Optimist's Daughter which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 when Welty was 64 years old. A crowning jewel for a lifetime achievement of writing, The Optimis ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: u-s-lit
You see this character more often in movies, or even in history or real life. Rarely in books, though, I've found. I'm talking about The Scene-Stealer.

It's not Judge McKelva, the self-proclaimed Optimist of the book's title. He's a widower, but now remarried. He gets bumped off early: some issue with his eye requires surgery and then his heart gives out unexpectedly during his recuperation in the hospital.

And it's not Judge McKelva's daughter, Laurel. She lost her husband in the War and grieves
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I had a strange reading experience with this book. I'd read a chapter, not connect with it at all, set it aside on my bedside table for a while until I finished the other books sitting around.

Somewhere around page 70, several months later, something clicked. I think it was the description of the funeral and really hooking into Welty's understanding of the intricacies of southern etiquette, spoken but more importantly unspoken (yet expected.) It really solidified it for me when she describes book
Meghan Pinson
Mar 30, 2017 Meghan Pinson rated it liked it
Flickers of loveliness. Full of truth. A little bit dated in its pressing upon feeling, but...still important. Recommended.
Book Concierge
I can appreciate Welty's writing, but this book just didn't capture my attention. It's a slim novel (under 200 pages) and won the Pullitzer prize for fiction in 1972. Not much happens, but then, I suppose that is the point. When you can sum up a person by stating "I know his whole family," what else is there?
Sep 09, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
Jodi Mae
Oct 25, 2014 Jodi Mae marked it as to-read
May 10, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2014 Hope marked it as to-read
Ryan Fletcher
Jul 12, 2015 Ryan Fletcher rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2014 Toni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Moll Flanders
Jan 02, 2014 Moll Flanders marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-buy
Oct 28, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern
Apr 03, 2013 Stephanie marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2015 Mercedes rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2012 Susannah marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2012 Lorie marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2016 Cheska marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2010 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Martha Gordon
Sep 18, 2008 Martha Gordon rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2007 Shana rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2007 Beth rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2007 Melody rated it liked it
Shelves: bookgroup
May 10, 2017 Maria marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2017 Marilyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, pulitzer
Dec 21, 2016 Faith marked it as to-read
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