Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty (1946)

Delta wedding Eudora Welty

From the 1945 Harcourt, Brace, and World edition: In Delta Wedding, Eudora Welty brings into an immediate focus a memorable family, living in the rich Delta land Mississippi in the early 1920s.

“The day was the 10th of September, 1923 — afternoon. Laura McRaven, who was in nine years old, was on her first journey alone. She was going to visit her mother’s people, the Fairchild’s, at the plantation named Shellmound …”

Shellmound was the simple white house filled with the magnificent cousins, like a white bowl spilling over with bright flowers.

Through Laura we enter the brilliant movement and excitement of this torrent of Fairchilds — whose names even made a various music: India, Battle, Bluet, and Aunt Tempe, Aunt Jim Allen, Orrin, Dabney, and Shelly.

“They all had a fleetness about them … a readiness for gaieties and departures … These cousins with the sensations of life and they knew it … things waited for them to appear, laughing in amazed, in order to happen. They were forever, by luck or intuition, opening doors, discovering things, running pell-mell down the stairs to meet people, ready to depart for vague in spontaneous occasions.”

In serene and timeless prose Eudora Welty brings into sharp relief seven days in the life of the Fairchild family. As they take their places in the novel — aunts and uncles with their memories and immediacies, the laughing cousins, even the servants, indigenous and privileged — and are united, suddenly and holy, in the preparations for Dabney’s wedding, there emerges a flawless picture of a Southern family and a way of life.

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