Eudora Welty House
The Eudora Welty House in Jackson, Mississippi, is the home of the photographer who may be best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Optimist’s Daughter, one of six novels and several short stories she published between the 1940s and the early 1970s. The book is a social commentary novel that explores family relationships as impacted by economics, distance, grief, and other phases of life. The house, which is now a museum, can be found at 1109 Pinehurst Street.
The Eudora Welty Foundation has a great summary of her life on its website’s biography page. Also, a helpful reader’s guide to deepen understanding of her bestselling book can be found at eudorawelty.org.
Eudora Welty (1909-2001) was a longtime resident of Jackson, which grew from approximately 21,000 residents when she was born to more than 186,000 during her lifetime. She might not recognize it today with upwards of 400,000 people calling it their home.
In addition to the home of Eudora Welty, be sure to visit the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson, which has a Mississippi Writers Room that features a self-guided tour of “a tribute to the state’s wealth of writers, playwrights and poets who have called this place home.” The library is located at 300 North State Street.
“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them — with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.” — Eudora Welty
The Eudora Welty House and the Eudora Welty Library are the first and second stops on our Mississippi Author Adventures Trail.