What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell

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9780547376493: What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell

For over fifty years, Eudora Welty and William Maxwell, two of our most admired writers, penned letters to each other. They shared their worries about work and family, literary opinions and scuttlebutt, moments of despair and hilarity. Living half a continent apart, their friendship was nourished and maintained by their correspondence. 

What There Is to Say We Have Said bears witness to Welty and Maxwell’s editorial relationships—both in his capacity as New Yorker editor and in their collegial back-andforth on their work. It’s also a chronicle of the literary world of the time; read talk of James Thurber, William Shawn, Katherine Anne Porter, J. D. Salinger, Isak Dinesen, William Faulkner, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, Walker Percy, Ford Madox Ford, John Cheever, and many more. It is a treasure trove of reading recommendations. 

Here, Suzanne Marrs—Welty’s biographer and friend—offers an unprecedented window into two intertwined lives. Through careful collection of more than 300 letters as well as her own insightful introductions, she has created a record of a remarkable friendship and a lyrical homage to the forgotten art of letter writing.

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HMH Hardcover, 2011Previous ISBN 978-0-547-37649-3

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Eavesdrop on one of the most celebrated literary friendships of American letters — that of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell

"What a glorious collection! These letters make a map into the very heart of friendship and creativity. They are bursting with intelligence, tenderness, and insight. Every page is a privilege to read." — Ann Patchett

"Something truly special happened each time Eudora Welty and William Maxwell wrote a letter to the other. Anyone who relishes and celebrates the magic use of words, storytelling, and friendship will treasure the end result forever." — Jim Lehrer

"This book lets us in on the happy fact that two splendid writers, who did not sacrifice humanity to career, were warmly admitted to each other’s lives. Its generosity of tone is such that the reader feels not a trespasser but a guest. Marrs’s editing is worthy of a delightful text." — Richard Wilbur

"These letters evoke a lost world when events moved a bit more slowly, and friends could take the time to be both eloquently witty and generous with each other, and letters were unobtrusively artful about daily life. Welty and Maxwell are like two birds of the same species, calling to each other across the distances." — Charles Baxter

"If friendship is an art, this volume is its masterpiece—the complex rendering of two long, literate lives well lived, always written with care, intelligence, grace, and even humor! And, oh my — our own paltry e-mails pale beside these letters, as our scattershot lives seem trivial in comparison to the constancy and purpose of the correspondents." — Lee Smith

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