Welty was born, raised and lived her life in Jackson, Mississippi, and her works are definitely in the "Southern Literature Genre". It is hot down there, it rains a lot, the community is segregated between white and black, and the world is filled with strange people.
The Ponder Heart was published in 1954 but takes place before World War II. The location is the town of Clay, Mississippi. The narrator of the story is Miss Edna Earle Ponder, who manages a hotel, Hotel Beulah, in town. She tells the story of her Uncle Daniel to a travelling salesman staying at the hotel. So, the story is about her uncle Daniel, a good man who loves to talk, loves people and loves give out presents to anyone he meets on the street. Uncle Daniel is also a sweet man, and the reader gets the impression that Uncle Daniel may also be a little weak and eccentric. In fact, he is so eccentric that his father, Edna Earle's grandpa, sends him to an asylum, so that he does not give away his whole fortune to strangers.
As the narrative continues, we learn about Uncle Daniel's weakness'es, his marriages and the events leading to his two weird marriages and the end of those marriages. It is a story filled with much humour, and much loneliness, and much Southern "weirdness". To me the writing style was a bit "old", but that is not strange, since the story is more than 50 years old. But it probably did not help that I read a Danish translation, which missed the dialects the original story supposedly had. I think I need to let this story sink in, but it was easily read and easily understood, and I want to read more by Eudora Welty and most of all I would like to be able to "dissect" a story like this a bit better than what I am able to do right now. An interesting story!
There are many internet resources available about Eudora Welty, and I found out, that she was also an avid photographer. The image is taken by her and I found it on the Mississippi Writer's Page.
The Southern Reading Challenge is hosted by Maggie from the Maggie Reads Blog.