She was the oldest of three children and the only girl of a very close-knit family. Her father, Christian Webb Welt, was an Ohio native who worked for an Insurance company. Her mother, Mary Chastens Welt, had been a schoolteacher In West Flagella. Welt’s mother, being a schoolteacher, loved to read and Influenced Welt to read at a young age. In her biography, Welt tells about her earliest memories of her parents reading to her and to each other at night.
She was always surrounded by books and was always reading. Her love of reading led her to graduate high school and further her education, which most girls during this time did not do. Welt had potential that did not go to waste. Eduardo Welt became a well-known, skilled writer who used her own background and experiences to help shape her stories into something captivating, stressing the importance of place in each and every story (Kerosene). She began her studies at the Mississippi State College for Women. Here, she helped start a literary magazine.
Two years later, she began studying at the university of Wisconsin and earned her bachelor’s degree there. After Informing her arenas that she wanted to become a writer, her father suggested she have something else to fall back on. Upon his advice, she decided to study advertising at the Columbia university School of Business. The job industry was tough when she graduated, so Welt decided to move back to Jackson (Machismo). After moving back home to Jackson, she began working for a local radio station and wrote about the society of Jackson for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.
Five years after taking this job, she began working for the Works Progress Administration, which was a government program established during the Depression, as a publicity gent. Welt thoroughly enjoyed this Job, which enabled her to travel all over Mississippi and see things she had never seen before. The people she saw amazed her and worried her at the same time. She used a cheap camera to capture pictures of everything she saw and documented It for the WAP. She wished for these pictures to be published, but they only went so far as to be exalted In New York.
She also interviewed various people, each one intriguing her more and more (Prose). Through her experiences working with the Works Progress Administration, she got a huge feel of Southern life outside of Jackson. This was the starting point for her future in writing her stories. Location was of great importance in Welt’s stories. She believed that place was what made stories seem real and complete. One of Welt’s famous quotes is, “A place that ever was lived in is like a fire that never goes out. Jackson was her home all of her life, and it was what she knew best. She Incorporated this familiarity and Intimacy so flawlessly into her work and It is this that draws the reader in. It is so apparent that heart Is put Into her writings. Although most of her stories are set In the deep south, most critics Greer that her work Is all-inclusive and not narrowed Just to southern living, language, and customs (Moloch). She Is able to detach from what she knows best and observe other aspects of the world.
Neither of her parents were originally from Living in New York for a few years also broadened her horizons. She said it best when she said, “Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. ” With all of her experiences tied together piece by piece, story by story, Eduardo Welt became a well-known, award winning writer (Discussions). Eduardo Welt explained in her autobiographical work, One Writer’s Beginnings, how her fiction stories grew from this “sheltered life” that she lived.
This book was published later, in 1984, and consisted of three different lectures that she gave at Harvard University, with the sections being titled: “Listening”, “Learning to See”, and “Finding a Voice”. She used this book to give an explanation of what makes a writer become a writer and to show her natural roots. She explains how she converted this part of her life into a new and different perception, and from this, she wrote her fiction. Using a series of expressive memories, she described in detail her life as she was growing up.
She used memories that she felt were “significant”, which kept the reader wanting to read more, instead of growing bored. She says it best herself in only a few sentences: “Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are Just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole. (Welt) Welt’s first published short story of her career was written in 1936 called “Death of a Traveling Salesman”.
She sent this story, along with a letter, to the editors of a magazine called Manuscript. The magazine published her story and her letter in their June issue. The story was very well written for it to be her first, and showed that she knew what she was doing. Two admired publications, the Atlantic and the Southern Review, allowed Welt’s work to appear their magazines within Just two years Cones). Her talent in her first story was recognized by the author Katherine Anne Porter. Porter went on to write a complimentary preface for Welt’s first book, A Curtain of Green, full of Welt’s short stories.
This introduction boosted the American awareness of Welt’s work. Welt’s first novel, Delta Wedding, was published in 1946 (Discussions). A few decades after Welt’s career launched, around 1956, she began having troubles at home. Her brother’s arthritis became more severe, disabling him and also causing heart problems. Just as this problem occurred, Welt’s mother had a series of strokes. The strokes took a huge toll on Welt’s mother, and it left her all but blind. More problems followed these already troubled times. Her other brother fell into a depression, and it wasn’t his first.
He was also afflicted with the same arthritis that had taken over their brother (Mars). For almost ten years, Welt fought through many battles, seeing family members and friends close to her suffer through illnesses, some less fortunate in their struggle than others. Theses hardships limited her writing, but in the long run, they only made her and her work stronger. She was finally able to finish her novel, Losing Battles, in 1970 (Vandalized). This was the one piece of work that took Welt the longest to make. In reviewing the book for the
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