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What There Is to Say We Have Said (2011)

by Suzanne Marrs, William Maxwell, Eudora Welty

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1252215,247 (4.33)48
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.… (more)
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This is on my bedside table, and I dip in and out depending on my mood. Lovely writing -- I mean, Eudora Welty and William Maxwell, come on. Lots of writing about writing, the weather, growing roses. Not very gripping, but I like it a lot. ( )
  lisapeet | May 8, 2013 |
This is one of those wonderful books that will increase your “simply have to read” list exponentially. Eudora Welty and William Maxwell wrote to each other about the stories, articles and books they had written and read, causing my copy of this collection of their correspondence to be marked up with arrows, pointing to the books and old magazine pieces I want to find and read for myself. Both were writers, but Bill Maxwell was also Eudora Welty’s editor at the New Yorker, and the letters they wrote during the editing of her stories are a fascinating glimpse into that polishing aspect of the creative process. Maxwell was gentle and supportive, making suggestions but always allowing Welty to have the final say.

They were such close friends that they appeared in each other’s dreams. They used a lot of typewriter ribbon comparing notes on garden flowers, especially roses, and they wrote graceful prose descriptions of their lives and their impressions of some of the memorable events of the time, including presidential elections from Eisenhower to Clinton, the civil rights era of the 60’s, the Comet Kohoutek, the Mt. Saint Helens eruption, and the happenings in the literary world. The end notes are a treasure, with lots of interesting additional information. As I read I used two bookmarks so I could easily reference them. With letters written between 1942 and 1996, this book should be a delight to anyone interested in the literature of that not so long ago era. ( )
3 vote Jaylia3 | May 9, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suzanne Marrsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Maxwell, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Welty, Eudoramain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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