The Regional Writer, Eudora Welty & Garrison Keillor

956 words - 4 pages

The Regional WriterAn author is a regional writer when his or her body of work reflects a particular area or region. For instance, Eudora Welty is a Southern style writer because her stories are mostly set in the Deep South, and more specifically in Mississippi. They reflect the physical setting, language and culture of that area and time.The physical setting is the most important aspect of determining a regional writer. In Eudora Welty's story, A Worn Path, the action takes place in a southern rural area. The main character walks from an isolated country farm to the nearest town to get medicine for her son. Even the nearest town is a small southern town. Ms. Welty's story waiting at the P.O. is set at a small Mississippi town where the narrator lives and in a Post office where the narrator of the story goes to escape from her sister. Also set in Mississippi are Welty's stories, "The Robber Bridegroom", "Delta Wedding", "The Ponder Heart", "Losing Battles", and "The Optimist's Daughter". In fact, George Hodgman comments about Welty in his Entertainment Weekly article, Southern Comfort, "Her setting was almost always a fertile Mississippi". Usually the writer sets his or her stories in one particular area because that is the area they were born or raised in or spent most of their lives. It is an area they know and therefore it is easier for them to write about life in that area the way it is. In an obituary for Eudora Welty in Newsweek, Malcolm Jones writes, "Her stories and novels are never directly autobiographical, but everything she knew about life is there".Another example of a regional writer setting his stories in one region is Garrison Keillor. Mr. Keillor's stories are mostly set in the fictional town of Lake Wobegon in Minnesota. Keillor was born and raised in Anoka, Minnesota and was the host of the Minnesota Public Radio Show, A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor's trademark storyline is the weekly News from Lake Wobegon monologue, a fictional town somewhere in Minnesota "where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." (Keillor)Thomas Lanier Williams, more commonly known as Tennessee Williams, writes his plays about characters that live and work in the south. Mr. Williams, like Welty, was also born and raised in Mississippi and writes his plays drawing on his experiences in the south. Elia Kazan (who directed many of Williams' greatests successes) said of Tennessee: "Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life."Sometimes the regional writer also uses dialog that is reflective of the region about which they are writing. Ms. Welty and Mr Williams use southern slang and colloquialisms consistent with the south in the 1930's. While Garrison Keillor uses dialog...

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