Winner of the 1973 Pulitzer Prize.
The Optimist's Daughter is the story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Alone in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents. (From the publisher.)
Eudora Welty was an award-winning writer and photographer who wrote about the American South. Welty was born in Jackson, Mississippi and lived a significant portion of her life in the city's Belhaven neighborhood, where her home has been preserved. She was educated at the Mississippi State College for Women (now called Mississippi University for Women), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Columbia University's business school. While at Columbia University, she also was the captain of the women's polo team.
During the 1930s, Welty worked as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration. This job sent her all over the state of Mississippi photographing people from all economic and social classes. Collections of her photographs are One Time, One Place and Photographs. Welty's true love was literature, not photography, and she soon devoted her energy to writing fiction.
Her first short story, Death of a Traveling Salesman, appeared in 1936. Her work attracted the attention of Katherine Anne Porter, who became a mentor to her and wrote the foreword to Welty's first collection of short stories, A Curtain of Green, in 1941. The book immediately established Welty as one of American literature's leading lights and featured the legendary short stories A Worn Path, Why I Live at the P.O., and Petrified Man, all of which have been included in many short story anthologies and literature text books through the years.
In 1992 Welty was awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story for her lifetime contributions to the American short story. The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Eudora Welty died of pneumonia in Jackson, at the age of 92. (From Wikipedia.)