Eudora Welty: “Why I Live at the P.O.”

See image credit below.

See image credit below.

This post is dedicated to my friend Rocco Marinaccio.

“Do you think it wise to disport with ketchup in Stella-Rondo’s flesh-colored kimono?”

Gotta love a story that includes that line!

Eudora Welty’s 1941 short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” is told by Sister, an unreliable narrator if there ever was one! It’s as if Sister is sitting you down and letting her tale of crazy family relationships rip while you listen speechless, unable to get a word in edgewise.

Eudora Welty is a storyteller’s storyteller – a writer of prose who brings the liveliness and intimacy of oral storytelling to life on the printed page. Born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, Welty lived her entire life in the southern hamlet until her death in 2001. I was fortunate enough to meet her in 1993 as part of the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium in Columbus, Misssissippi.

An accomplished fiction writer and photographer, Welty set her sights on documenting the world around her – life in the South, especially in Mississippi. The author of four novels, two novellas, and numerous short stories, Welty easily moves from tragedy to comedy. “A Worn Path,” “Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden,” or “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies” will break your heart – but stories such as “Why I Live at the P.O.” and “The Petrified Man” will have you laughing out loud!

To learn more about Welty, visit the Eudora Welty Foundation website, where you can take a virtual tour of Welty’s house and garden. It’s also worth stopping by the New York Times page on Welty.

Ready to read more? Check out A Curtain Of Green (which includes “Why I Live at the P.O.” and other stories)! There’s lots more Welty to explore (all those wonderful novels!), but I’ll save those for future posts.

Join me this week on Pinterest as I pin images and resources related to Eudora Welty. Take a look around at all my boards – or go straight to “My Favorite Short Stories” board for Eudora Welty treats.

And don’t forget to leave a comment on this post! If you subscribe to the weekly StoryWeb email and leave a comment here, you’ll be entered into a monthly drawing to win a StoryWeb T-shirt.

Listen:Listen to Eudora Welty read a 2-minute excerpt from “Why I Live at the P.O.”

Image credit: Portrait of Welty featured in the National Portrait Gallery (public domain).