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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Author Eudora Welty dies
Eudora Welty
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty, one of America's best-loved novelists, has died aged 92.

Welty, who was famous for her short stories and novels set mainly in Mississippi, died on Monday in hospital in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, US.

She had been suffering from pneumonia, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Welty's works included The Ponder Heart and Losing Battles.

The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize
She was praised by critics, fellow writers and musicians for her vivid imagery and shrewd dialogue, which brought the South to life.

She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her novel The Optimist's Daughter.

A spokeswoman at the Baptist Medical Center in Jackson announced the novelist's death.

"Ms Welty passed away at 1225 of cardio pulmonary arrest secondary to pneumonia,'' she said.


Born on 13 April, 1909, Welty grew up in Jackson and had lived there almost permanently since 1931.

She never married and once told the New York Times in an interview that marriage "never came up".

Welty attended the Mississippi State College for Women before graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1929.

She also studied advertising at the Columbia University School of Business.

Eudora Welty's stories
Welty's works gave a dignified picture of life in the Depression-era South
Welty's interest in fiction writing began when she worked as a publicist for Franklin D Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration from 1933 to 1936.

The job took her throughout Mississippi to chronicle Depression-era life with interviews and photographs of ordinary people.

She won her first of five O Henry Memorial Contest awards for short-story writing in 1941.

Two years later, she won acclaim for her first published collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green and Other Stories.

Her first novel was Delta Wedding in 1946, followed by The Golden Apples in 1949. The Ponder Heart came five years later.


Although Welty did not belong to a southern "school" of writers, she had an ability to use regional sentiment as metaphor for universal human experience.

Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty won acclaim for her human insight
As such, she was often compared with William Faulkner and Katherine Anne Porter.

Welty said fiction provided her with the most productive tool for analysing human personality.

Her other works includeThe Bride of Innisfallen, a collection of short stories.

The Optimist's Daughter was a tale about the ordeal of a woman whose widowed father marries someone much younger than herself.

The acclaim it brought was seen as a fitting crown to Welty's long and vibrant literary career.

During that time, she also received the prestigious American Book Award for fiction.

Two of her books, The Ponder Heart and The Robber Bridegroom, were also made in to Broadway plays.

Welty was also celebrated for her photography.

And in May 2000, she published her last book, Country Churchyards, an album of the photographs she took while working for the Works Progress Administration.

See also:

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Pulitzer's lasting legacy
04 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Pulitzer poet Gwendolyn Brooks dies
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