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Paperback Delta Wedding Book

ISBN: 0156252805

ISBN13: 9780156252805

Delta Wedding

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

With a new introduction from Anne Tyler. From one our most treasured American writers, Delta Wedding is a vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

We are most hospitably invited to the festivites.

Eudora Welty, winner of the National Medal for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize, paints a haunting, lyrical portrait of the enormous Fairchild clan at Shellmound - their rustically feudal cotton plantation in the 1920's Mississippi Delta. The family has gathered for the wedding of Dabney, the second and prettiest daughter, (in her particular generation), and Troy Flavin, Shellmound's overseer, a ruddy-haired man who is totally unsuitable, in the eyes of various family members. However, nothing is expressed verbally to indicate their displeasure. Their attitudes, the way they live and treat each other, say it all. It is late summer, and the festivities are underway in the semi-tropical heat which hangs heavy over the river and bayou. Nine year-old Laura McRaven, a cousin whose mother just died, arrives for the celebrations on a trial visit, of sorts, that will decide whether she is to become a permanent member of the clan, or be sent back to her non-Fairchild father in Jackson. The plot is a simple one, however, the novel's pattern of relationships are most complex. The characters' reveal themselves through their actions, conversations, soliloquies, and sometimes through the perceptions of young Laura, as they all deal with the issues which unite and divide them. Welty's sensitive story vividly portrays the charm and customs of old Southern family gatherings of yesteryear, and explores the complexities and chaos associated with close-knit families. The author literally invites the reader, most hospitably, into Shellmound and beckons us to join the festivities. "Delta Wedding" was Ms. Welty's first novel, published in 1946. While I thoroughly enjoyed "Delta Wedding," I do prefer Ms Welty's short stories to her novels. JANA

Alienation in a large family

When you see the title "Delta Wedding," please don't assume that Eudora Welty's novel is either a gaudy supermarket romance or a pollyanna tribute to nuptial celebration and Southern domesticity. It is about the events leading up to a wedding, and of course there is plenty of talk about dresses and cooking and dancing, but Welty, almost like Virginia Woolf's American counterpart, suffuses the atmosphere with mysterious psychological undercurrents and the foreboding aura of secrecy. We get the sense that there is more to these people's personalities than the text can convey, and we read on patiently and attentively, hoping to unravel the complexities. The setting is the area of central Mississippi through which the Yazoo River flows, not far from Faulkner country geographically or literarily; much of the land in this particular locality is owned by a family named the Fairchilds, the dynastic centerpiece of the story. The prevalent symbol in the novel is a train called the Yellow Dog, the principal means of mass transportation that connects this part of Mississippi to the rest of the state. This is the train that brings nine-year-old Laura McRaven from Jackson to visit the Fairchilds, her cousins, on their plantation, where Dabney (that's a girl) Fairchild is engaged to be married within the week to a man twice her age named Troy Flavin. It is also the train that, not long before the novel begins, nearly ran over Laura's uncle George as he tried to rescue his addled niece Maureen who had caught her foot in a trestle. George's wife Robbie had witnessed this near-accident and now is using it as an excuse to leave him--how could he be so selfish as to risk his life and widow her? Although this does not speak well of Robbie's character, the source of her discontent is really alienation. She knows that she is beneath George's station, and every instance in which he bonds with another Fairchild only affirms that the Fairchild mystique is a closed circle, impenetrable to her. For a novel concerned about a wedding in the immediate present, it is deeply immersed in its characters' pasts. Laura is an only child whose mother has recently passed away, so this large house where she is surrounded by myriad cousins, aunts, and uncles, like legendary creatures whose fantastic world she has suddenly entered, is an awesome environment with a rich and intricate history. The Fairchilds are such a regional monument that the entire town cemetery is practically their very own mausoleum; Dr. Murdoch, the insensitive local physician, picks out future burial plots for Fairchilds as though he were deciding where to plant flowers in a garden. One interesting characteristic of "Delta Wedding" is that, true to impressionistic storytelling, there is no traditional protagonist that I could identify. Laura receives much of the focus, but this is not really her story, nor is it narrated in her voice. Dabney is too shallow and spoiled to be a heroine; her older

One of the most beautifully constructed novels I've read!

I had to read this for a Lit of the American South class I'm taking for my M.A. I read it in two days with a study guide close at hand as well as several background articles on Welty. I'm grateful for the additional materials, but even without them I know I would have found much to praise in this book.When I first started to read, my professor suggested compiling a list of characters and their relationships in order to assist in keeping everyone straight. This was excellent advice and allowed me to read without getting too bogged down in character names and trying to figure out who was allied with whom, etc etc.The novel is ostensibly a portrait of one Southern family. On a broader perspective, one can view it as a deconstruction of the American South with its age-old social structures and isolationism. But it can also be taken on a much more universal level. Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in any milieu will relate to Ellen Fairchild, Laura McEvern, and Robbie Reid. Families across the world aren't so different. Robbie's statement in the novel's climax: "I didn't marry into them, I married George!" is, I thought, particularly insightful.I honestly can't praise this book enough. It has inspired me to want to read more of Welty's work as well as other great Southern writers. An excellent introduction...In some ways, perhaps in structure and narrative tone, it reminded me of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Again, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read!Enjoy!

Delta Wedding is one book I'm going to have to read again.

This book is deep, deep without being ponderous or erudite. It is deep like life, like an ordinary day, filled with significant events and events whose significance has yet to be found. Living in the cold northeast and not having travelled much outside New England, I loved Delta Wedding for its description of the Mississippi Delta, its people and their way of life. Reading a book like Delta Wedding makes me itch to write a novel of my own, to celebrate, to examine life in my small corner of the world the way Ms Welty does the Mississippi Delta.
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