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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / MISSISSIPPI

Welty Farewell Draws 700 Fans, Friends

July 26, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Friends and fans of Eudora Welty waited under a blistering sun to pay their respects to the writer whose stories of small town Southern life earned her the Pulitzer Prize and acclaim as a master of the short story.

Welty's closed coffin was presented in the rotunda of the Old Capitol, an 1835 building where Andrew Jackson once spoke. The state Department of Archives and History made her just the sixth person to receive a public viewing in the Old Capitol, now a museum.

Martha Kwasny brought her six young daughters and nieces--dressed in matching red-and-pink dresses--to celebrate Welty's life.

"We're going to go see where she lived and then we're going to go to the bookstore and buy a book," Kwasny said.

More than 700 people came to honor Welty, who died Monday at age 92 and will be buried today in Jackson, where she lived. She won the Pulitzer in 1973 for "The Optimist's Daughter" and was known for bringing her often sad and eccentric characters to life with vivid imagery and lively dialogue.

Her funeral at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church is expected to draw many people from the literary world. Fellow Pulitzer-winning author Richard Ford is to be among her pallbearers.

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