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‘Photographs’ by Eudora Welty

The definitive book of photographs by one of the South’s best-loved authors is back after a 30-year hiatus from University Press of Mississippi.

Eudora Welty Photographs, originally published in 1989, serves as the definitive book of the critically acclaimed writer’s photographs. Her camera’s viewfinder captured deep compassion and her artist’s sensibilities that would later show up in her stories. Photographs is a deeply felt documentation of 1930s Mississippi taken by a keenly observant photographer who showed the human side of her subjects. Also included in the book are pictures from Welty’s travels to New York, New Orleans, South Carolina, Mexico and Europe in the 1930s-’50s.

The photographs in this edition are new digital scans of Welty’s original negatives and authentic prints, restoring the images to their original glory. It also features 16 additional images, several of which were selected by Welty for her 1936 photography exhibit in New York City and have never before been reproduced for publication, along with a resonant, new foreword by Pulitzer Prize–winning writer and Mississippi native Natasha Trethewey.

Eudora Welty would take photographs of Southern life before ever publishing a short story. She had used a camera since she was a child, and her father helped establish Jackson, Mississippi,’s first camera store. She took pictures for the Jackson Junior Auxiliary after graduating college and, much like a journalist, said she was trying to record the human life around her. In 1936, she traveled to New York City and brought some photos with her. When she dropped by Photographic Galleries with them, they offered her a two-week show. That same year, she received word that a magazine would publish two of her short stories. Welty still used her camera from time to time, but switched most of her creative energies over to writing—an edeavor that paid off.

Eudora Welty Photographs is now available from University Press of Mississippi. Photograph © Eudora Welty, reprinted by permission of Eudora Welty LLC; courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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