David's Reviews > What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell

What There Is to Say We Have Said by Suzanne Marrs
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

really liked it

I don't have time to spill out all of the ways this collection is wonderful. These were two lovely, admirable people who were devoted friends--and warm, wonderful writers. The letters span 54 years (!) and paint a detailed portrait of the authors' lives and careers. Maxwell edited Welty's fiction at The New Yorker and was her tireless champion, and Welty came to be a dear friend of both him and his wife--truly just shy of a member of their family.

I got more and more practiced at skimming talk of gardening, a shared passion--but was careful to skim lightly, because lovely stuff could pop out of those exchanges as well. If you haven't read Maxwell's work, I highly recommend it. Now, my confession: I've only read a few of Welty's short stories, and her non-fiction about writing (The Eye of the Story) and her development as a writer (One Writer's Beginnings, I believe it's called). To date, I've otherwise bounced off her work--have found it too densely idiomatic (read: I get lost in the Southern stuff) and crowded with characters. But I'm going to read The Optimist's Daughter and, if I've found the knack of reading her, Losing Battles.
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