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Tell About Night Flowers: Eudora Welty’s Gardening Letters, 1940-1949 by Eudora Welty

imagesI know nothing about floral gardens…or any gardens for that matter, yet I was transfixed by Eudora Welty’s Tell about Night Flowers: Eudora Welty’s Gardening Letters, 1940-1949. Why? Certainly because these letters were written by one of America’s finest writers…and because they provide insight into a world long gone, that of the United States during World War II. The letters are between Welty, her literary agent and gardening aficionado, Diarmuid Russell and Welty’s good friend and fellow writer John Robinson. They are sensitively introduced and annotated by Editor Julia Eichelberger. Eichelberger makes some interested connections between Welty’s short stories and her daily concerns, prefacing each chapter with an extract from a story. In Tell about Night Flowers, we see the changing South as Welty shares the effects of the war on Jackson Mississippi and on its race relations. There is also a lot of interesting minutiae about the author/agent relationship. The care with which Welty gives to her flowers echoes the exactitude in her stories. A rewarding read for both gardeners and those interested in American literature.

Amy P.


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