Sunday, 28 March 2010

Losing battles (Welty) 208

I'd not read any Eudora Welty before, so was excited when Fleur Fisher included Losing Battles in the wonderful stash of VMCs. Welty is from the South and it seems that her books draw on this experience to depict family life.

Losing Battles is the story of a 1930s family reunion; generations of the Vaugn/Renfro family gather together to celebrate Granny Vaugn's 90th birthday. During the two-days they are together, Welty builds up a picture of the family and their past. The book is essentially built around conversations between members of the family and the story is predominantly told through dialogue - for some reason I found this quite difficult to follow and in the event I wasn't completely wowed by this book; I think maybe it was just the wrong time for me to read the book as I have read many great reviews of it.

It doesn't put me off wanting to read more of Welty; I love the sound of the title "The optimist's daughter" and also "The robber bridegroom". Has anyone else read any Welty? What are your thoughts... 2.5*

It's actually been published twice by Virago, although I was only able to find a scan of the later green cover.


  1. I've not read Losing Battles but have read the two whose titles you're admiring. I don't remember either being hard-to-follow although The Optimist's Daughter is a more conventional narrative so, if you're nervous, that might make for a good "next". Hope you enjoy your next choice more.

  2. I've not read Welty but she's on my list of must-read authors. I've heard The Optimist's Daughter is very good.

  3. Verity this sounds wonderful - especially as I am having a bit of a 1930s blitz at the moment. i am also intreigued by the front cover -who is the artist?

  4. I have to admit that I didn't take to this book. Maybe I just picked it up at the wrong moment though, because I loved The Robber Bridegroom.

  5. BIP - I might give Optimist's a go next...

    Vintage - yes, she was certainly someone I needed to try.

    Hannah - I don't own that cover version I'm afraid so I can't tell you who is the artist!

    Jane - I definitely want to try Robber Bridegroom - I have a friend in London with a copy to loan me in due course!