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Beschreibung des Verlags
Letters revealing a lost literary world—and a unique friendship between a brilliant author and a New Yorker editor.
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, and 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 relationship—both in Maxwell’s capacity as New Yorker editor and in their collegial back-and-forth on their work. It’s also a chronicle of the literary world of the time; they 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 three hundred letters as well as her own insightful introductions, she gives us “a vivid snapshot of 20th-century intellectual life and an informative glimpse of the author-editor relationship, as well a tender portrait of devoted friendship” (Kirkus Reviews).
While Welty and her New Yorker editor Maxwell were contemporaries, he 34, she 33 when they first met at a New York literary party in 1942, they seemed to be virtual opposites. He was a devoted family man; she was a loner. His nearly 200 letters to her divulged his entire personality; among the surviving letters, Welty omitted any reference to the love of her life, married crime novelist Ross Macdonald. But Welty and Maxwell recognized from the get-go that they were kindred spirits. The correspondence of this volume, gracefully edited and annotated by Welty's biographer Marrs, takes off in 1951, when the New Yorker began to publish Welty's fiction. Maxwell was an accomplished writer, too, and in these unfailingly cozy letters, which take us up to the 1990s into his old age, the pair discuss not only their work together and apart, but the orchids they loved, their day-to-day lives, and the writers they admired, from Virginia Woolf and Dylan Thomas to J.D. Salinger. Both correspondents were blessed with personality-plus, mirrored in these letters. Also included are one essay, one speech, and one reader's report by Maxwell. Photos.