Paperbacks of the year: The Golden Apples, By Eudora Welty

Strange tales of Mississippi yearning

This collection of interrelated stories, set in the fictional town of Morgana, Mississippi, is a hauntingly beautiful work.

In The Golden Apples, first published in 1949, Eudora Welty creates characters who are all, in one way or another, dissatisfied with their lives, and their dreams begin to bleed into reality. Welty's supple prose-poetry produces this effect by making the ordinary appear strange: lovers in a clinch resemble "a big grasshopper ... legs and arms drawn in to one small body"; children playing in a field are like "remoter creatures ... kangaroos".

This excellent new edition is prefaced with an essay by Paul Binding which sheds light on the mythic structures that underpin the tales.

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