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Delta Wedding
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A vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a plantation in the Mississippi delta. The story, set in 1923, is exquisitely woven from the ordinary events of family life, centered around the visit of a young relative, Laura McRaven, and the family's preparations for her cousin Dabney's wedding.
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First published in 1945, Delta Wedding established Welty as one of the most poetic and memorable writers of the Southern Renascence. Set in 1923 in the Mississippi Delta town of Fairchilds, the wedding in question is that of Dabney Fairchilds, daughter of the most prominent plantation family in the region, and Troy Flavin, the family's overseer. How the family comes to terms with the social diminishment it must absorb by Dabney's willful choice is only one subject of Welty's subtle story. Others are the absorption of Laura McRavin, an orphaned cousin, into the Fairchilds clan and the reconciliation of the favorite son, George, with his socially inferior wife, Robbie. Chock full of eccentric aunts, children with odd names like Bluett and Little Battle, and the hovering threat of disaster, this complex and beautiful tale contains many themes that were the source material for later Southern writers such as Tennessee Williams and Flannery O'Connor. Narrator Sally Darling has the perfectly modulated, softly dramatic Southern accent to convey the mood of post-Reconstruction Mississippi, where a powerful family with its plantation traditions cannot resist the slow erosion of democracy. Recommended for all collections.-Sharon Cumberland, Seattle Univ.

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