udora Welty’s novel, “The Optimist’s Daughter,” which first appeared in The New Yorker of March 15, , is a miracle of compression, the kind. The Optimist’s Daughter. By Eudora Welty · March 15, P. The New Yorker, March 15, P. Laurel’s father, Judge McKelva, died in the hospital 3. The Optimist’s Daughter () by Eudora Welty is primarily a story about place, position, and values, although it does also touch on familial.

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It was with that mindset and self-inflicted guilt, because that’s where I’m a viking I approached a considerable chunk dsughter Eudora Welty’s Pulitzer Prize-winning gem of a novel.

The main character Laurel faces dilemmas and competing loyalties after the death of her father, as she reflects on the deaths of her mother and husband before him. Of tje, the subject matter, death and its aftermath, is so serious and Welty addresses it head on.

A lot of the book is about loss and the pain of dealing with death but for some reason it just didn’t resonate iptimist me. In the course of the story, we see that Fay is also dishonest, for one in saying that all of her family is dead.

I didn’t really get that one either when I first read it. As it is, there is friction enough even among those genuinely grieved which explains the argument in last chapter for me Mourning seems to be a very private thing that people are forced to weltt in public.


Post was not sent – check your email addresses! After the judge’s death the women return to Mt. And also that I suffer from a paralyzing fear of sounding corny in a public forum, which made the immediately preceding confession hard to even eudira typing.

Welty’s novel has spunk. There is a reason she received the Pulitzer, although this would not be my choice for her best work. View all 13 comments. Meanwhile Laurel remains in her childhood home for a weekend, visiting with friends and trying to come to terms with the deaths of several loved ones: Additionally, I felt the characters grossly underdeveloped.

I don’t recommend it, though.

The horrible stepmother in The Optimist’s Daughter, by Eudora Welty – Kate Macdonald

Laurel’s mother and Clint’s first wife. During the ewlty days she remains, Laurel digs through the past as she goes through her house remembering her deceased parents and the life she had before she left Mount Salus.

Laurel McKelvy Hand has returned to the south from Chicago when she hears that her father Judge Clinton McKelvy has suffered a scratched eye and is need of surgery. But, even in the wake of listening to my brother and me swap grievances about our lousy parents, it wasn’t ’til after a few lips-loosening rounds that hubs asked if the wound of severing all ties with my family still hurts.

The Optimist’s Daughter

The Texans also add genuine family feeling to the emotions simmering in the air, because Wanda Fay is loved, and she loves them, even though they are all awful, ghastly, horrible people: We could walk hand in hand. Welty portrays the adughter Southern funeral with perfection. Welty never ceases to amaze with her dark and subtle look into Southern culture.


She could hardly fall asleep, she tried to keep awake, for pleasure. It not only contains several characters who suffer from blindess or poor vision but also images of vision or the lack of vision.

You can follow my reviews at http: I went to see her near the end. In the words of Fay: Initial impressions, August 28 78 Dec 01, That outlet is Teh histrionic, selfish and utterly unlikeable stepmother, Fay — who reminded me so much of my mother that I couldn’t help but pound this book that I loved against whatever surface closest to me in achingly frustrated empathy for Laurel.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Laurel encounters her mother’s memory, her father’s life after he lost his first wife, and the complex emotions surrounding her loss, and the wave of memories in which she swims.

Eudora Welty’s New Novel About Death and Class

I must be missing something, as it’s won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and has numerous sparkling reviews, but I did not enjoy this book at all. There is a reason this book won the Pulitzer Prize. And when I do, I will read that gift from a Christmas so long ago.