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Quotation of the Week: William Maxwell (to Eudora Welty)

“If what I heard in your voice persists, will you drop everything and come to New York and settle down in the back room and let us hang garlands of love around your neck, day after day, until you are feeling yourself again?”

William Maxwell to Eudora Welty, in a letter dated January 24, 1967

If you subscribe to The Writer magazine you can read my review of What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell (edited by Suzanne Marrs) in the July issue, which is out now. (If you’re not a subscriber, I’ll eventually share the review online.)

In the meantime, this week’s quotation is one of my favorite snippets, and it’s cited in the review. I love how it reveals the deep friendship between Maxwell and Welty and reminds us that, no matter how many examples of “bad behavior” we may hear about (or witness) in the lives of writers we admire, some authors really are as admirable off the page as on it.

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  1. Having just discovered Eudora Welty (I know, I know…), this quote is enough to pull me in and want to know more. B’shert.

    • I hear you! I consider myself woefully under-read where both of these authors are concerned, but at least I have read *some* of Maxwell’s novels. With Welty, I’m mainly limited to the widely anthologized pieces (“Why I Live at the P.O.,” etc.). I ‘m thinking of investing in the Library of America collections for each of them.

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