Brian’s response to Charles East’s account of his relationship with Welty can be read here.
Notes on “Discovering Eudora Welty” by Charles East
“Discovering Eudora Welty” is a memoir written by Charles East on how his life was influenced by the writings of Eudora Welty and Welty herself. In the beginning, East talks about how Eudora Welty’s first short stories had influenced his life. Then, as the author moved on toward college, he became more and more immersed in Eudora Welty’s life and stories. For example, on page 426, the author writes about how a couple of Welty’s stories, “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies” and “A Piece of News”, took him by “surprise” and “astonished” him. The Author then goes on to provide information of how Welty’s current status affected his college life at LSU. Then, the memoir transitions into the author’s adult life after graduating from college. This is the part where the author actually gets to meet Eudora Welty for the first time. East met Eudora Welty on the Millsaps campus, in the early 1960s. The story goes on to summarize and analyze Eudora Welty’s “Goat Castle” story. In Part II of the reflection, the author goes on to talk about how Eudora Welty has influenced his life. During this period the author read many of Welty’s books that contained her short stories, and even “One time, One Place”, a series of photographs published in 1971. The author also attended many talks and lectures given by Eudora Welty herself. Finally, the author got a unique one-on-one chance to talk to Eudora Welty about her writings and real-life experiences. Charles East’s memoir about Eudora Welty really opened up my knowledge of Eudora Welty’s life outside of her writing and allowed me to glimpse the life of someone who is really passionate about writing stories, just for the pleasure of it.