Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thirteen Stories” as Want to Read:
Thirteen Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thirteen Stories

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  503 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Thirteen outstanding short stories by Welty, written between 1937 and 1951. “Miss Welty has written some of the finest short stories of modern times” (Orville Prescott, New York Times). Selected and with an Introduction by Ruth M. Vande Kieft.
Paperback, 252 pages
Published March 17th 1965 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1965)
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 Thirteen Stories, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Wes The Wide Net
Old Mr. Marblehall
Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden
A Worn Path
Petrified Man
A Still Moment
Lily Daw and the Three Ladies
The Hitch-Hikers
The Wide Net
Old Mr. Marblehall
Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden
A Worn Path
Petrified Man
A Still Moment
Lily Daw and the Three Ladies
The Hitch-Hikers
Why I Live at the P.O.
Moon Lake
The Bride of the Innisfallen(less)
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteen Problems by Agatha ChristieThe A.B.C. Murders by Agatha ChristieThirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie
Lucky 13
175 books — 35 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertFox in Socks by Dr. SeussA Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. SchulzEverything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'ConnorHotel by Arthur Hailey
Best Books of 1965
74 books — 44 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern, shorts, reviewed
On first reading "Why I Live at the P.O.," I was impressed by Welty's ability at finding humor in her portrait of a deeply disfunctional Southern family who were haunted by an imagined gentile past. As I read through Thirteen Stories, however, I started to wonder if that was all she was capable of: grotesques, and cariactures of a certain kind of stagnant Southerness.

It helps that she's really good at it. Welty's a critic's sort of writer, measured and detail-oriented; the observative detail in
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I know that Eudora Welty is considered one of the great southern writers, but personally I have a hard time understanding her writing. I think that her stories have a lot of symbolism and depth that is not caught on a quick read. You almost have to analyze, study and really think about the story. One thing I know is that she has a gift of being able to describe a character with a choice of words that bring them to life. One of my favorite stories from this book is The Worn Path, but there were s ...more
Ben Fike
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Figured I needed to read some Eudora Welty as part of my continuing "Introduction to Mississippi" education. It's hard to rate a short story collection. Some I liked. Others I did not care for. Still interested in digging more into Welty's work.
tom bomp
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Thirteen Stories

Thirteen stories over the days I read,
Thirteen stories of relationships,
humor,that was sometimes over my head!

Short stories. Some times I love them, some times I hate their brevity, because I feel like I'm missing something. Often times I think a person has to be smarter to read (and write) a short story since what's really going on isn't always obvious. There's a subtlety that lies behind 15-30 pages of Times New Roman typeset. Then again, maybe they aren't intended to be compli
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Weird little mundane people always seem to be somebody else, but Welty let's you think maybe you're one of them.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
None of these really blew my skirt up but I award Eudora Welty a rhinoceros butt's worth of stars for being an original gangster of badass Southern ladies.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
There is a thoughtful, intentional preciseness to Eudora Welty's prose--observational, coy--that describes her characters and settings in a way that can be inspired. Yet it feels surface-level. There is no intimacy here. Not much between the characters themselves, and definitely not between character and reader. Some authors can overcome a lack of intimacy (esp. that with the reader) through compelling scenarios or by presenting dramatic revelations for the characters. Some authors can overcome ...more
Antonio Dittmann
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The thirteen stories, hand-picked by editor Ruth M. Vande Kieft, are an excellent introduction Welty’s work and will whet your apetite for her full-length novels. Several of the stories seem at first reading to be plotless and pointless, more tableaux-de-vie, (“slices of life”), than story – a scene without a play.

Yet despite that initial misconception, you will find in the days after that the hidden depth of each of these stories blooms in your mind the way fresh, cold, early spring rosebuds d
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
There were some stories I really liked, and some stories I didn't like as much. Her shorter stories read well. The last two stories in the collection were really long and they were hard to follow and structured oddly. But all in all I really like her work, and I want to read her book on writing!
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Patchwork of Mississippi Vignettes

This anthology presents 13 of Welty's short stories whose publication dates span some 25 years, selected and introduced by Ruth Van de Kieff. Except for the last one, set in the UK on a boat train, these tales reflect Welty's penchant for Mississippi--especially along the Natchez Trace. Her subjects range from a morbid fascination with freaks, to a glorious depiction of the role of Nature. Touching upon crime, poverty, the subtleties of Marriage, and the Black e
Yuri Bernales
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
While reading these stories I had three misgivings: one, they aren't as good as O'Connor's; two, except for the last two, they're too short; three, it feels like they hijack the tracks of the old Dixie Limited too often ("The Wide Net" is reminiscent of a certain river scene from As I Lay Dying; "A Still Moment" ventures into the realm of almost Faulkner-esque quasi-philosophical transcendence, which I honestly loved). But these are personal misgivings; Welty deserves high praise as a Southern a ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
While I did not understand some of her writing I enjoyed Eudora Welty's colorful characters. (I believe she was a colorful character herself, judging from her writing.) I also liked her vivid portrayals of Mississippi; I could feel the humidity, picture the blackberry thorns, hear the chorus of insects, feel the mud underneath my bare feet in the pond, etc... I found some things odd, and maybe a bit annoying. For instance, several of her women characters stuck their tongue out at people. Is that ...more
Mark Valentine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know that Welty has several editions out of her stories. I know that these stories have been anthologized a lot ("A Worn Path," "A Wide Net," and "The Hitch-Hikers"). So it doesn't matter to me what edition of her stories that you buy, as long as you read them.

This edition is my first exposure to her collected stories (after I first read her autobiographical book, "One Writer's Beginnings") and I must admit that I am fascinated. She includes an incredible about in the settings, in the agile ch
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-nightstand
This felt like literary 'reality tv' for Southern white life in the 1930s and 1940s-- appalling to me in its descriptions and characters. It is filled with people who are racist, small-minded and soul-stunted. I definitely got a sense of time and place and the dynamics of a person within their community. I just don't want to be there or know those people. This book spoke to my prejudices about the South, reinforcing them and making me happy to have been born in the West. I expected more based up ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Dick by: Peabody Institute Library
Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty Discussion Group at Peabody Institute Library featuring Southern Female Writers

Summer book discussion group with Harvard University Professor Theo Theoharis!
The texts for this course are Thirteen Stories by Eudora Welty and A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor.
For the first two weeks, we will discuss Good Country People and The Displaced Person by O'Connor. For the second two weeks, we will discuss Petrified Man and Why I Live at the P.O. by Welty.
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I read 4 of the short stories and liked them because they were different than what I usually read. However, I was not drawn in enough to keep going and read the others. I wanted to see what this author was like, and I did enjoy the quirky characters. Although I have known individuals who were like them, I personally did not relate to the characters.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
In continuing my time with female writers of the South, I found Eudora's writing dense, and sometimes, I appreciated a story more so upon a second reading. But the lushness of Mississippi and her characters come through in hauntingly beautiful ways. My favorites from this collection: "A Worn Path," "Why I Live at the P.O.," "Livvie" and "Moon Lake."
Dec 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-books-read
I sense that Eudora was quite a character, if her writing is anything like her life. I enjoyed some of the stories, although not all of them. The one called 'Why I Live at the P.O.' was my favorite. I would have liked to hear her read her writings.

I first became aware of Eudora Welty when I learned that the mail server called Eudora was named after her.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kicked-to-curb
I didn't know Eudora, the Queen of Southern Writers according to Sue Monk Kidd in recet NYT Book Review. I read a few of the thirteen stories...I get her now, I think. Library book goes back. Next I will read The Optimist's Daughter. Sorry to say the characters seemed interchangeable with ones in other story collections from Dixie. I was not swept away.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The language is so lush and she is showing vivid slices of life but it also seemed like writing for the sake of it and not to convey a story or a point. Appreciated in snatched my but had a hard time getting through it.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
My edition contained the following stories:

Lily Daw and the Three Ladies
Petrified Man
Why I Live at the P.O
The Hitch-Hikers
A Worn Path
The Bride of the Innisfallen
No Place for You, My Love
A Visit of Charity
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I did not enjoy this book. Eudora dwells in a very different space than I was expecting. I had to put this book down and come back to it. I do like her surprising and puzzling metaphors but to me the read was like a discussion on a topic one does not care for.
Shannon Hill
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-lit
I love Eudora Welty. If you're not from the south, you'd be well served to have a southerner read it to you. Like Faulkner, she captures southern-speak so well that if you don't catch that part, you're missing part of the wonder of the story.
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i have never read welty before and she was highly recommended, so i picked up this paperback for a buck and i've been really pleased with it. she is charming in that way that all good southern writers are charming...casually engaging with sprawling prose. how's that for a flowery review??
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
At times I felt like I was missing out on something, but so often I didn't care because she wrote such descriptive stories that I thoroughly enjoyed. I read this because it was recommended by my high school English teacher, and I was not disappointed.
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
i can barely remember one of the stories let alone all thirteen..
Stephanie Ricker
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Is there anything Welty has written that isn't good? Doubtful.
Mar 09, 2009 added it
bought it in paris because i was homesick.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Old Order: Stories of the South
  • Tales of O. Henry
  • The Learning Tree
  • Great Short Stories by American Women
  • Collected Stories
  • Great Tales and Poems
  • White People
  • Collected Stories
  • The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard
  • A Fanatic Heart
  • Alistair Cooke's America
  • The American Scholar; Self-Reliance. Compensation
  • Blackberries, Blackberries
  • Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965
  • My House
  • This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Dancing After Hours
  • Short Story Masterpieces
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

Fiction Deals

  • Daughter of Sand and Stone
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
    $6.24 $1.99
  • The Silver Suitcase
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ilsa: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Into the Free
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Persian Boy (Alexander the Great, #2)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Get It Together, Delilah!
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mademoiselle Chanel
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (P.S.)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • If I Ever Get Out of Here
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Woman on the Orient Express
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Isabella: Braveheart of France
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Whiskey Sea
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Bette Davis Club
    $4.49 $1.99
  • A Life Intercepted: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Epitaph
    $9.74 $1.99
  • How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Bergdorf Blondes
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Bendigo Shafter (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures): A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Invisible Emmie
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Something Like Family
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Orphan Master's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Sisters One, Two, Three
    $4.99 $1.99
  • This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
    $15.95 $1.99
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets: A Novel
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Tenth of December: Stories
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Daughters of the Night Sky
    $4.99 $1.99
  • New York
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Yellow Star
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Miramont's Ghost
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Am Livia
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Play of Death (The Hangman's Daughter, #6)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Requiem for a Dream: A Novel
    $17.99 $1.99
  • I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Eagle Tree
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Helen of Sparta (Helen of Sparta #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Shaman (The Cole Trilogy)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Things That Keep Us Here
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Halsey Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Woodlands (Glenbrooke, #7)
    $11.99 $1.99