"Welty remains for me the model of how all authors ought to be." So says Anne Tyler of Eudora Welty, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Optimist's Daughter will be the Cornflower Book Group's June book.
First pubished in The New Yorker in 1969, then revised and extended to its current form in 1972, it is "a reflective, poignant novel of independence and love", "a gentle, tender work, bright with Welty's sharp humour and pioneer sense of place".
"The people of Mount Salus, Mississippi always felt good about Judge McKelva. He was a quiet, solid, reassuring figure, just as a judge should be. Then, ten years after his first wife's death, he marries the frivolous young Wanda Fay. No one can understand his action, not least his beloved daughter, Laurel, who finds it hard to accept the new bride. It is only some years later, when circumstance brings her back to her childhood home, that Laurel stirs old memories and comes to understand the peculiarities of her upbringing, and the true relationship between her parents and herself."
At under 200 pages this is a short novel which everyone should easily be able to acquire and read in time for a late-ish June discussion - let's say Saturday the 23rd. I've not read Eudora Welty before and I'm looking forward to this book, especially as what was meant to be just a glance at the opening passage had me reading on and keen to go further right now when I already have three other books on the go. This is said to be her finest novel, and I hope it will prove to be an excellent read for us; do please join in.