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The Golden Apples

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  908 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Welty is on home ground in the state of Mississippi in this collection of seven stories. She portrays the MacLains, the Starks, the Moodys, and other families of the fictitious town of Morgana. “I doubt that a better book about ‘the South’-one that more completely gets the feel of the particular texture of Southern life and its special tone and pattern-has ever been ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 14th 1956 by Mariner Books (first published 1949)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I hope Eudora Welty, who died recently, is not being slowly forgotten, and I hope also she is not slipping into the category of "beloved regional author" or some such nonsense. Welty was a major American writer who wrote some highly challenging artworks. This, for my money, is her best book. It is of an unusual genre: it's not a collection of short stories nor is it a novel. It is a unified art work made up of connected stories, or maybe I should say "pieces," since some of them aren't really ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
3.5 stars

I have read Welty before and tried to understand her reasoning and writing. In this book of seven short stories it was a much easier job. Each of the seven stories - or parables - were linked together by either a character, a place or a circumstance. Southern life is well defined in this book since all stories take place in Morgana Mississippi.

Welty's writing is circular and witty, bizarre at times, but illuminating, beautiful depth, captivating, yet spiraling and confusing. Her
Lyn Elliott
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I needed to read this collection of seven linked stories in one go, not to leave days between them when I was not in Eudora Welty‘s world.

Members of the same families in the same small Mississippi town appear in all the stories, sometimes fleetingly, sometimes reappearing after a long absence, never all at the same time, not even when there is a great community gathering, as for a funeral.

Welty’s writing is poetic, sometimes the language is luminous. She was a brilliant photographer of
Mary Durrant
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These interconnected stories were just amazing and beautiful.
One could just imagine the slow pace of life in the Deep South.
A book to take in slowly, the prose is poetic and Welty brings the characters to life.
Charlie L
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Eudora Welty's The Golden Apples is in some sense beyond the human mind; beyond what fiction addresses. Welty's fiction is poetry, but beyond poetry. It is complex in not supernatural ways, but maybe in superhuman ways: in ways that are real but that are beyond the human mind. Virgie, in the collection's closing story, "The Wanderers," is a fine example of this:
She knew that now at the river, where she had been before on moonlit nights in autumn, drunken and sleepless, mist lay on the water and
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book has been an albatross around my neck all freaking summer. I found it on a table of free books while out for a walk one day, and I thought, being a writer and a Southerner, perhaps I should read one of the most lauded Southern writers. There were a couple chapters of this book that I just loved, where I could see what all the fuss over Eudora Welty was about--she paints such a wonderful picture of small-town Southern life in the early 20th century that I could almost feel the shimmering ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most amazing, beautiful, and striking series of short stories I've ever read. The characters are so layered and messy and complicated. They become real people by the time you reach the end and you're left grieving for some and relieved and happy for others. The last of the stories is particularly beautiful and won't ever be forgotten.
Amy Talluto
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Welty is a titan. Ok, now that that's out of the way, this book is a collection of short stories that all relate to the same town "Morgana" and its townspeople...making it more novel-like than short-story-collection-like. I read in an interview with Welty that the town's name is based on the sea horizon mirage phenomenon "fata morgana." This hazy, dream-like misting in-and-out of mirage and reality perfectly characterizes the tone and structure of the book. It became a little bit my "white ...more
Deborah Pickstone
Beautifully written short stories about a fictional Mississippi town and its inhabitants.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-owned
The first time I read this book I absolutely hated it. Could not STAND it. I read it again recently, and whether it be time or age, I found the charm of Welty's writing that I missed the first time around.

What Welty does exceptionally well here is capture the feeling of small towns in the South. Everyone really DOES know everyone else's business, and lives are inextricably laced in _The Golden Apples_ as they are in real life. There are some stories in the book that I adore, and others that I
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
2.5 stars not because these stories are poorly written; I just didn't enjoy them personally. They took too much effort to read - maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age, but I got tired having to read the same sentence over and over to try to figure out what she was saying. She is very good at describing nature, but when she describes thoughts or emotions, her meaning becomes so elusive, almost like she knows what she means to say, but is purposefully keeping the reader in the dark. I get the ...more
Virgie walked down the hill too, crossed the road, and made her way through the old MacLain place and the pasture down to the river. She stood on the willow bank. It was bright as mid-afternoon in the openness of the water, quiet and peaceful. She took off her clothes and let herself into the river.

She saw her waist disappear into reflection less water; it was like walking into sky, some impurity of skies. All seemed one weight, one matter -- until she put down her head and closed her eyes and
The only piece of writing by Eudora Welty I had read prior to picking up "The Golden Apples" was a her book of autobiographical essays called "One Writer's Beginnings." I think this was a good place to start. In it she describes how she learned to listen for stories in every day life. Growing up in the South where story telling is part of the fabric of everyday life equipped her with the ability to see and hear stories that most of us might pass by without a second thought. In "One Writer's ...more
She pressed through a haw thicket and through the cherry trees. With a tree-high seesawing of boughs a squirrel chase ran ahead of her through the woods - Morgan's Woods, as it used to be called. Fat birds were rocking on their perches. A little quail ran on the woods floor. Down an arch, some old cedar lane up here, Mattie Will could look away into the big West. She could see the drift of it all, the stretched land below the little hills, and the Big Black, clear to MacLain's Courthouse,
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't care for short stories but Eudora Welty is such an interesting writer. Her stories have the subtle strangeness of Flannery O'Conner's stories. She makes us see mundane events for the peculiarness that exists within them.
Elizabeth Urello
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Why did it take me so long to read more Eudora Welty? We should all just be reading Eudora Welty all the time.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lyrical and experimental novel told in short stories. Think Sherwood Anderson on acid.
Rachel Carpenter
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I admit I was confused half the time by the twists and turns in both dialogue and plot. But it was a pleasant kind of mental exercise.
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Hard to get into initially because she writes in circles and the language is unfamiliar. But hang in there, it's so rewarding! so beautiful.
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
I've enjoyed reading a number of Eudora Welty's work. This is not one of them.

The good: Once again, Welty does what she is best at. She immerses the reader into a rich Southern experience through her power of description. I am not reading about Southern people in Mississippi, I am vicariously in Mississippi, the invisible spectator of the players in this series of short stories and that all deal with a group of families in a small town.

It is a fictitious town as the characters are also
This is a series of seven stories (one of them long enough to be a novella) set in a small town in Mississippi, covering approximately the first half of the 20th century.

Each story focuses on one particular character or family, and others reappear as secondary characters. Some are more like vignettes, taking place in one day. Others cover a few years. But they don't overlap in time, and decades may have passed between one story and the next.

I enjoyed this once I got used to the slow pace,
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I took a class in college in which Welty's works were 1/3 of the focus and I remember skimming a few of her short stories and The Optimist's Daughter at breakfast before a few classes and I remember thinking oh, this is great, I should give it another chance sometime. So anyway I came across this collection at the library a few months ago and thought it was time to give her that other shot. I loved the first couple of stories and then I just sort of lost interest. I don't know if I just wasn't ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
These linked stories aren't quite as good as her first collection, but they're excellent nonetheless. They require much patience from the reader: dense, detailed, atmospheric. Welty creates a world in every story and while she occasionally makes the reader work too hard (and there's also the regrettable racism of the era), she does not even begin to approach the incoherence of, say, Faulkner.
Charles Sheard
There's some wonderful writing in here, and beautifully shaped images. Unfortunately, they are buried beneath the weight of Welty's efforts to load virtually every phrase of every sentence of every paragraph with some deep, metaphorical, symbolic, poetic meaning, most of which leaves the reader at a loss. Characters say and do things that at best are non-sequiturs, and at worse completely dumbfounding (for instance, the way the onlookers behave when Loch is trying to revive Easter from ...more
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it
This book has been on my "to-read" list for a couple of years and I finally got around to it- I have heard of Eudora Welty and was interested to dive in to a collection her short stories. I especially liked "June Recital" and "Moon Lake." At times it was hard to understand exactly what was going on- you more 'feel' a sense of what the characters are thinking and experiencing- very nuanced. Her writing is beautiful; one passage I marked describing a girls' tent at summer camp-
"The pondering
Stephanie Ricker
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I’ve been plodding my way through The Golden Apples for what seems an eternity. I think I’ve been indulging in a little too much Welty lately, or maybe this just isn’t as good as her other works, but for some reason I’m bored stiff. The chapters are very long, very uneventful short stories that more or less all tie together into one timeline, and I know I read “Moon Lake” in another collection. I was unimpressed that time too. Nothing happens, and it takes such a long time doing it--a good bit ...more
Brian Francis
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up Welty’s book because I read that she was a big influence on Alice Munro. It’s easy to see why. Welty’s writing is rich, gorgeous and deep. Give yourself plenty of time with this collection. It deserves to be savoured. I read each story multiple times in an effort to try and capture all the finer details.

At times, it felt like I was reading a Munro story – and that’s a good thing. Both writers focus on pivotal moments, stories in which not much really happens in real time, but there’s
Before reading this book, the only work of Eudora Welty's I was familiar with was her short story "Why I Live At the PO." After reading that story I assumed all of Welty's work was like that: light and comical. So, I was stunned when I picked up The Golden Apples and found it to be something completely different.

It was really hard to get into but, once I did, I saw how much of an artist Welty was. Even though there was a LOT in these stories I didn't (and still don't) understand, they were all
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Most of the stories in this collection didn't really speak to me. I am also not a fan of the writing style. However, the genius of Eudora Welty and her writing is clear as she paints pictures of the people of Morgana throughout their life span.
Neelam Babul
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
An amazing collection of short stories set in the Mississippi. Beautifully written. Some stories are very impressive and incredible. However, sometimes to understand and make sense of Welty's stories you need to have patience as well as the ability to persevere till you can understand the plot. Sometimes the words just passed over my head and I had to read a couple of more times just to comprehend what I was reading.

But undoubtedly, this is a great piece of literature that reflects the talent
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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
“Could she ever be, would she be, where she was going?” 5 likes
“Don't want to do a thing, Ran, do we, from now and on till evermore.” 1 likes
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