“As you have seen,” wrote Eudora Welty in the final paragraph of her memoir, One Writer’s Beginnings (1984), “I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” Her choice of the word “daring” is an interesting one, for on looking back at her long career it is daring, above all, that turns out to have been the outstanding trait of this quiet Mississippi lady whose extra-literary life has been, in the normal sense of the word, neither daring nor adventurous. Born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, the much-loved eldest child of an affectionate, cultivated, middle-class family, she has, except for a few years at the University of Wisconsin and at the Columbia University Business School in New York, lived in Mississippi all her life. Today, at the age of ninety, she still resides in the family home built by her father in the 1920s.


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