A Curtain of Green
The debut short fiction collection from the Pulitzer Prize–winning Southern author: “A fine writer and a distinguished book” (The New Yorker).
When A Curtain of Green was published, it immediately established an unknown young writer from Mississippi as a uniquely original literary voice and a great American author. In her now-famous introduction to the collection, Katherine Anne Porter wrote that “there is even in the smallest story a sense of power in reserve which makes me believe firmly that, splendid beginning that it is, it is only a beginning.”
In this collection are many of the stories that have become acknowledged masterpieces: the hilarious over-the-top family drama that drives a small-town resentful postmistress to explain “Why I Live at the P.O.”; the deeply satisfying thwarting of a trio of busybodies by a “feeble-minded” young woman in “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies”; the poignant pilgrimage of elderly Phoenix Jackson in “A Worn Path”; and the boldly experimental and jubilantly playful literary improvisation of “Powerhouse,” inspired by a performance Eudora Welty saw by Fats Waller.
Porter added that “[Welty] has simply an eye and an ear sharp, shrewd, and true as a tuning fork.” Like the jazz tunes Powerhouse bangs out on the piano, Welty’s stories remain as fresh, alive, and unpredictable today as when they first appeared.
“Miss Welty’s stories are deceptively simple. They are concerned with ordinary people, but what happens to them and the manner of the telling are far from ordinary.”—The New Yorker