Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Delta wedding (Welty) 79

Delta wedding is Welty's first proper novel, if Robber Bridegroom is seen as an extended fairy tale. Having read Robber Bridegroom, which I had very much enjoyed, and a little while ago, Losing Battles, which I hadn't, I was interested to come to this. Like Losing battles the story is concentrated over a short space of time, the weekend of a wedding. Eight year old Laura travels from Jackson, Missisippi, to Shellmund, the family plantation, following the death of her mother, and for the purposes of attending a wedding between Dabney and Troy. Welty paints a fascinating picture of plantation life and of the relationships within the family.

The introduction particularly interested me; apparently Welty was also interested in photography as much as writing, especially in the early stages of her career, and Paul Binding suggests that this had a big influence on this novel. I could see what he meant; the plot was secondary to the descriptions of the characters, and the chapters were almost like snapshots or vignettes. Character is certainly one of Welty's strongpoints.

Still not convinced that Welty is for me - guess I need to try The optimist's daughter which I believe is her "big one".

Published twice by Virago, I have the later "modern" green edition.


  1. I've not read this one, but did read Robber Bridegroom last year. I still remain ambivalent about it - parts of it were enjoyable, whereas some of it just fell flat (for me).

    Guess I have to read more of her works as well.