The great big doorstep: a Delta comedy

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Southern Illinois University Press, 1979 - Fiction - 366 pages
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First published by Houghton Mifflin in October 1941,just a few months before America’s entry into World War II swept the nation’s attention from the appearance of new fiction, this second novel by a writer of exceptional promise, who died two years later, is here redisshy;covered and newly introduced by Eudora Welty. nbsp; In 1936, with the publication of his first novel,Green Margins,E. P. O’Donshy;nell introduced a new field for American literature—the Delta country of Louisishy;ana. The novel was well received criticalshy;ly, and was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. nbsp; Here, in his second novel—and first comedy—writing about the same counshy;try, O’Donnell makes eloquent the everyday lives of a Cajun family, deshy;scendants of the original Acadians, whose world is the Mississippi’s mouth, and, in fact, their lives. “It is a scene,” Eudora Welty writes, “which takes for granted the misuse of everything—birds—young girls—the Virgin—probably even the barter system. It is also true comedy, and is brought about to tell us how desperate life is on Grass Margin.” nbsp; This comedy is filled with the antics of survival and the efforts of the Crochet family to procure a house of sufficient grandeur to match the huge doorstep which they had salvaged from the river. The Crochets’ continuing dream, symshy;bolized by the doorstep, comes true at last, as all comedy must, but not withshy;out irony which gives a deeper meaning to the story.

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a doorsteps ouoht to shine
you cant dig a ditch on strawberries
made a song

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About the author (1979)

Eudora Welty received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist’s Daugh­ter in 1973. Among her other books are Losing Battles and The Wide Net. She is a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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