Tell about Night Flowers: Eudora Welty's Gardening Letters, 1940-1949 was featured in the New York Times Book Review on Sunday, June 1. The book, edited by noted Welty scholar Julia Eichelberger, was included in a roundup of recommended books on gardening.
Reviewer Dominique Browning had this to say about the book:
Just as some plants send taproots deep into the soil for nourishment, some writers thrive in a profound attachment to their own patch of earth. As Eudora Welty put it in a “Firing Line” conversation with Walker Percy and William F. Buckley in 1972 (ah, the good old days), “Place does endow.” We feel this vivid, passionate connection throughout a collection of Welty’s letters about gardening, from 1940 to 1949. TELL ABOUT NIGHT FLOWERS (University Press of Mississippi, $45) is a book I’ll keep on my bedside table all year. Its editor, Julia Eichelberger, has done an intelligent, sensitive job of collecting previously unpublished letters from a woman who had splendid dreams about camellias and irises.
Taken together with 35 illustrations, this collection of letters form a poetic narrative of their own, chronicling artistic and psychic developments that were underway before Welty was fully conscious of them. By 1949 her art, like her friendships, had evolved in ways that she would never have predicted in 1940.
Most of these letters were previously unpublished and only became available for study in the twenty-first century. Eichelberger has written annotations that provide biographical and historical context.
Tell about Night Flowers not only lets readers glimpse Welty in her garden; it also reveals a brilliant and generous mind responding to the public events, people, art, and natural landscapes Welty encountered at home and on her travels during the 1940s. This book enhances our understanding of the life, landscape, and art of a major American writer.
Tell about Night Flowers is now available from UPM. Click here to see our collection of other Eudora Welty titles.