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Ranking Author Eudora Welty’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Eudora Welty’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Welty’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Eudora Welty and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Eudora Welty



17 ) Morgana: Two Stories from The Golden Apples

 Morgana: Two Stories from The Golden Apples Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 17

Two of Welty’s finest stories, ‘Moon Lake’ and ‘June Recital,’ enhanced by twenty black-and-white illustrations by Wolfe

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16 ) Losing Battles

 Losing Battles Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 16

On the hot, dry first Sunday of August, three generations of Granny Vaughn’s descendants gather at her home in the little town of Banner, Mississippi, to celebrate her ninetieth birthday. The celebrations take only two days, but many members of the family are great storytellers, and when they get together, the temptation is irresistible—a device that enables Eudora Welty to take the reader back into the lost battles of the past, capturing different tones of voice and ways of thinking.

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15 ) The Optimist’s Daughter

 The Optimist's Daughter Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 14

The Optimist’s Daughter is the story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a young woman who has left the South and returns, years later, to New Orleans, where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back still farther, to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. Alone in the old house, Laurel finally comes to an understanding of the past, herself, and her parents.

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13 ) The Robber Bridegroom (novella)

 The Robber Bridegroom (novella) Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 11

Legendary figures of Mississippi’s past – flatboatman Mike Fink and the dreaded Harp brothers – mingle with characters from Eudora Welty’s own imagination in an exuberant fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. Berry-stained bandit of the woods Jamie Lockhart steals Rosamond, the beautiful daughter of pioneer planter Clement Musgrove, to set in motion this frontier fairy tale.

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13 ) The Golden Apples

 The Golden Apples Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 14

Welty is on home ground in the state of Mississippi in this collection of seven stories. She portrays the MacLains, the Starks, the Moodys, and other families of the fictitious town of Morgana.

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12 ) Delta Wedding

 Delta Wedding Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 13

Set on the Mississippi Delta in 1923, this story captures the mind and manners of the Fairchilds, a large aristocratic family, self-contained and elusive as the wind. The vagaries of the Fairchilds are keenly observed, and sometimes harshly judged, by nine-year-old Laura McRaven, a Fairchild cousin who takes The Yellow Dog train to the Delta for Dabney Fairchild’s wedding. An only child whose mother has just died, Laura is resentful of her boisterous, careless cousins, and desperate for their acceptance. As the hour moves closer and closer to wedding day, Laura arrives at a more subtle understanding of both the Fairchilds and herself. Born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, Eudora Welty is one of the South’s finest novelists. She won a Pulitzer in 1972 for The Optimist’s Daughter. Delta Wedding is her best known work.

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10 ) Moon Lake and Other Stories

 Moon Lake and Other Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 16
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 1

“Watch out for the mosquitoes,” they called to one another, lyrically because warning wasn’t any use anyway, as they walked out of their kimonos and dropped them like the petals of one big scattered flower on the bank behind them, and exposing themselves felt in a hundred places at once the little pangs.’ Moon Lake is the story of a summer camp in Mississippi, a surly lifeguard, a rebellious orphan girl, and the fateful day when they learn the secrets of life and death. Pulitzer Prize-winner Eudora Welty’s extraordinary short story is a lushly atmospheric and acutely observed portrayal of the strange, surreal time between childhood and adulthood.

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10 ) The Ponder Heart

 The Ponder Heart Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 12

Uncle Daniel Ponder, whose fortune is exceeded only by his desire to give it away, is a source of vexation for his niece, Edna Earle. Uncle Daniel’s trial for the alleged murder of his seventeen-year-old bride is a comic masterpiece. Awarded the William Dean Howells Medal of the american Academy of Arts and Letters.

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9 ) The Wide Net and Other Stories

 The Wide Net and Other Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 11
  • LibraryThing: 8

These eight stories reveal the singular imaginative power of one of America’s most admired writers. Set in the Old Natchez Trace region, the stories dip in and out of history and range from virgin wilderness to a bar in New Orleans. In each story, Miss Welty sustains the high level of performance that, throughout her distinguished career, has won her numerous literary awards.

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8 ) The Shoe Bird (juvenile)

 The Shoe Bird (juvenile) Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 5

When Arturo the Parrot, whose job it was to help greet people as they came into The Friendly Shoe Store, picked up and repeated a small boy’s disgruntled comment, “Shoes are for the birds!,” it certainly changed the course of his life. This is Eudora Welty’s only book specifically written for young readers.

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7 ) The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories

 The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 10

This collection combines stories set in Welty’s special province, the rural South, with stories having a European locale. This gives a wider range to her fiction and demonstrates the remarkable talent of one of the finest short-story writers of our time.

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6 ) Thirteen Stories

 Thirteen Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 4

Thirteen outstanding short stories by Welty, written between 1937 and 1951.

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5 ) A Curtain of Green

 A Curtain of Green Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 9

Eudora Welty’s subjects are the people who live in southern towns like Jackson, Mississippi, which has been her home for all of her long life. ‘I’ve stayed in one place, ‘ she says, and ‘it’s become the source of the information that stirs my imagination’. Her distinctive voice and wry observations are rooted in the southern conversational tradition. The stories in this volume, from the first two collections she published, range in tone from the quietly understated and psychologically subtle to the outrageously grotesque.

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3 ) Selected Stories

 Selected Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 6

Eudora Welty’s subjects are the people who live in southern towns like Jackson, Mississippi, which has been her home for all of her long life. ‘I’ve stayed in one place, ‘ she says, and ‘it’s become the source of the information that stirs my imagination’. Her distinctive voice and wry observations are rooted in the southern conversational tradition. The stories in this volume, from the first two collections she published, range in tone from the quietly understated and psychologically subtle to the outrageously grotesque.

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3 ) One Writer’s Beginnings

 One Writer's Beginnings Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 7

Now available as an audio CD, in Eudora Welty’s own voice, or as a book. Eudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi. In a “continuous thread of revelation” she sketches her autobiography and tells us how her family and her surroundings contributed to the shaping not only of her personality but of her writing. Homely and commonplace sights, sounds, and objects resonate with the emotions of recollection: the striking clocks, the Victrola, her orphaned father’s coverless little book saved since boyhood, the tall mountains of the West Virginia back country that become a metaphor for her mother’s sturdy independence, Eudora’s earliest box camera that suspended a moment forever and taught her that every feeling awaits a gesture. She has recreated this vanished world with the same subtlety and insight that mark her fiction. Even if Eudora Welty were not a major writer, her description of growing up in the South–of the interplay between black and white, between town and countryside, between dedicated schoolteachers and the public they taught–would he notable. That she is a splendid writer of fiction gives her own experience a family likeness to others in the generation of young Southerners that produced a literary renaissance. Until publication of this book, she had discouraged biographical investigations. It undoubtedly was not easy for this shy and reticent lady to undertake her own literary biography, to relive her own memories (painful as well as pleasant), to go through letters and photographs of her parents and grandparents.

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1 ) On Writing

 On Writing Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 2

Eudora Welty was one of the twentieth century’s greatest literary figures. For as long as students have been studying her fiction as literature, writers have been looking to her to answer the profound questions of what makes a story good, a novel successful, a writer an artist. On Writing presents the answers in seven concise chapters discussing the subjects most important to the narrative craft, and which every fiction writer should know, such as place, voice, memory, and language. But even more important is what Welty calls “the mystery” of fiction writing—how the writer assembles language and ideas to create a work of art. Originally part of her larger work The Eye of the Story but never before published in a stand-alone volume, On Writing is a handbook every fiction writer, whether novice or master, should keep within arm’s reach. Like The Elements of Style, On Writing is concise and fundamental, authoritative and timeless—as was Eudora Welty herself.

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1 ) The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

 The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 2

With a preface written by the author especially for this edition, this is the complete collection of stories by Eudora Welty. Including the earlier collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Golden Apples, and The Bride of the Innisfallen, as well as previously uncollected ones, these forty-one stories demonstrate Eudora Welty’s talent for writing from diverse points-of-view

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Eudora Welty’s Best Books



Eudora Welty Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOverall Rank
On Writing 352 1
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty 172 1
Selected Stories 516 3
One Writer’s Beginnings 237 3
A Curtain of Green 419 5
Thirteen Stories 764 6
The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories 9310 7
The Shoe Bird (juvenile) 1085 8
The Wide Net and Other Stories 5118 9
Moon Lake and Other Stories 16161 10
The Ponder Heart 13812 10
Delta Wedding 111213 12
The Robber Bridegroom (novella) 141211 13
The Golden Apples 81514 13
The Optimist’s Daughter 151014 15
Losing Battles 121216 16
Morgana: Two Stories from The Golden Apples 171617 17