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One Writer's Beginnings
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Group Reads: Moderator's Choice > Initial Impressions, One Writer's Beginnings, December, 2015

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message 1: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
When Moderator Diane "Miss Scarlett" Barnes chose this as her pick for this month's Moderator's Choice, she offered up a real treat.

Please share your initial impressions as you delve into this little gem.


message 2: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
Started it yesterday, finished today. As I promised, short but very sweet. She mentioned "Delta Wedding", her first novel. She said that the first scene where Laura is on the train going to Shell Mound was taken right out of her experience as a child and her memories of traveling by rail. This book made me wish I could have known her and been her friend. I'll bet she was a lot of fun to be around.


Howard | 453 comments Diane wrote: "Started it yesterday, finished today. As I promised, short but very sweet. She mentioned "Delta Wedding", her first novel. She said that the first scene where Laura is on the train going to Shell M..."

I find it interesting that she was one who admitted to living a sheltered life, who was fortunate to have been raised in a close knit family, but that didn't keep her from being a keen observer of the human condition.

I think her work as a photographer was also a beneficial influence on her writing. Not only in helping her to frame her stories, but also as a source of inspiration for stories.

For example, she writes that her short story "Why I Live at the P.O." was inspired by a woman she photographed ironing in the back of a small post office.

The story is a humorous treatment of sibling rivalry, something that seems to be totally absent from her own family, but something I'm sure she must have observed in other families.


message 4: by Connie (last edited Dec 01, 2015 03:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Connie G (connie_g) | 480 comments I loved the conversational tone of this delightful book. I felt like Miss Eudora was sitting with me on her front porch telling me about her life. She mentioned how she loved listening to stories as a child--not just stories in a book, but also listening to her mother's friends talk. She was very observant, and it shows in her fiction. She has a good sense of place, a sense of humor, and knows how people interact with each other.

This was a great moderator's choice, Diane.


message 5: by Connie (last edited Dec 01, 2015 03:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Connie G (connie_g) | 480 comments My review of "One Writer's Beginnings" :
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 6: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
Thanks, Connie. Your review was wonderful, and captured my feelings as well. When she mentioned that she heard a voice in her head as she was reading, but not her voice, I was nodding my head. I hear that voice too.


message 7: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
Howard, I agree about her work as a photographer influencing her work. I think there is a book in existence that shows her photos for the WPA, I need to hunt that down.


Howard | 453 comments Connie wrote: "My review of "One Writer's Beginnings" :
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..."
,

Your review was both thoughtful and insightful, Connie. Nicely done.


message 9: by Howard (last edited Dec 01, 2015 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Howard | 453 comments You can hear Miss Eudora read "Why I Live at the P.O." here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmnzd...

and "A Worn Path" here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2avAy...

I don't know why she read the first story at such a rapid clip. That isn't the voice I hear when I read her. She reads the second one much more the way that I would expect.


message 10: by Teresa (last edited Dec 01, 2015 08:41PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teresa Diane wrote: "I think there is a book in existence that shows her photos for the WPA, I need to hunt that down."

One Time, One Place: Mississippi in the Depression is the 'original' book of those photographs.

A couple of years ago I saw an exhibit of some of her work at the Ogden Museum in N.O. It was impressive.


Connie G (connie_g) | 480 comments I googled "photographs of Eudora Welty", and there are several good sites with her photographs, including a youtube presentation by Smithsonian Magazine. Howard had a good point in how her photography influenced her writing.


message 12: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
Thanks, Teresa. I bet my library will have a copy.


message 13: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
As you read this wonderful little work, envision her through her life. I came across a portrait gallery released in July of this year. The paintings were made by twenty or more artists in tribute to Miss Eudora. Here is my favorite...


 photo Eudora20Portrait_zps0suv5lxp.jpg

Other portraits may be seen at "The Bitter Southerner" an online Magazine aimed at Southern Literature, Life and Art. Here's the Link: http://bittersoutherner.com/eudora-we...

Enjoy!


message 14: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
In light of folks' references to Eudora Welty's Photography, here's a wonderful film on her photographic work. It's wonderful.

The Photography of Eudora Welty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBDLz...


Howard | 453 comments Mike wrote: "In light of folks' references to Eudora Welty's Photography, here's a wonderful film on her photographic work. It's wonderful.

The Photography of Eudora Welty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBDLz..."


Yes, I watched this a couple of days ago. I agree that her photography was outstanding. Also, thanks Mike for the link to "The Bitter Southerner," not only because of the portraits of Welty, but because it looks to be an interesting publication and one that is new to me.


message 16: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Howard wrote: "Mike wrote: "In light of folks' references to Eudora Welty's Photography, here's a wonderful film on her photographic work. It's wonderful.

The Photography of Eudora Welty https://www.youtube.com/..."


I thoroughly enjoy The Bitter Southerner. Always worthwhile reading!


Howard | 453 comments Teresa can relate to this, I think. In an interview that I read, Miss Eudora said that less is resolved in short stories, but more is suggested.

She was also quoted as saying: "I'm a short story writer who writes novels the hard way, and by accident." Meaning, I assume, that sometimes her short stories take on a life of their own and evolve into novels.


message 18: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
Thanks Mike, for the You Tube video, it's amazing, and whets my appetite for more. I put a book of her photographs on hold today at the library.


message 19: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane Barnes | 4274 comments Mod
I think short stories must be harder to write for just that reason, Howard.


message 20: by Teresa (last edited Dec 03, 2015 05:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teresa I think I can relate, Howard.

I agree, Diane. Nothing out of place, or out of mood, can be excused, as it might be in a meandering, baggy novel, for example.

Welty is a short-story master.


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