The Golden Apples by Eudora Welty

Published: 1949 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Penguin 3. Eudera Welty 1962 [Public Domain] via Wikimedia 4. Various covers from different editions. 5. Zeus [Public Domain] via New York Public Library

This is a collection of short stories all set in Morgana, a small town in Mississippi. The same families are present throughout over the course of forty years, and the writing deals with the dynamics of the family unit, the relationships between families, and how outsiders relate to the town’s residents.

“Beware of a man with manners.”

Literariness: “When Eudora Welty published The Golden Apples in 1949, critics did not know whether to treat it as an experimental novel or as a collection of interconnected short stories. But Welty included the separate pieces from The Golden Apples in her Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (1980), making it clear that she intended them as stories.” To me, it’s more of a novel, and I think the author has very effectively connected the townspeople of fictional Morgana. That’s what the one star is for. Apparently the stories are rich with allusions to myths, but I found that too obscure to be unrecognizable. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grasp either the essence of the stories or the author’s intentions. Chris Saliba suggests that the stories are “rare, exotic and frequently intoxicating stories that reward slow and repeated readings”. Perhaps if I repeatedly read these stories in more detail, I would feel more satisfied, and would be able to rate it more highly.


“No dead people had ever been spilled while any of them watched, just as no freight train had ever wrecked while they prayed for it to, so they could get the bananas.”

“Virgie Rainey worked. Not at teaching. She played the piano for the picture show, both shows every night, and got six dollars a week and was not popular any more.”

Author: Eudora Welty

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