Friday 21 October 2011

The Golden Apples

'Lets let the orphans go in the water first and get the snakes stirred up, Mrs Gruenwald,' Jinny Love Stark suggests.' Eudora Welty

The girls from Morgana, Mississippi are spending summer camp at Moon Lake. Loch Morrison, Boy Scout and Life Saver, reluctantly watches over the lake while they swim. The girls are equally reluctant to take their daily dip.

The boldest orphan, Easter, goes in first, the other orphans follow and then the girls from Morgana, Mississippi. The alligators have been 'beaten out' of the lake, but there are water snakes and rumours of a cottonmouth moccasin. Underfoot are cypress roots and soft mud. A rope marks the boundaries for swimming. The Morgana girls have bathing slippers but the orphans are barefoot.

Eudora Welty's collection of interconnected stories The Golden Apples, first published in 1949 are so evocative of Mississippi you can almost smell the 'sweetbay and cypress and sweetgum and live oak and swamp maple.'

With the change of season I find that I'm moving again towards my favourite American writers and I sense an autumn reading plan emerging!