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Labor PainsNew Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South$
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Christin Marie Taylor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496821775

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496821775.001.0001

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Feeling in the Light

Feeling in the Light

Race, Fear, and Desire in Eudora Welty’s Popular Front Fiction

(p.99) Chapter Three Feeling in the Light
Labor Pains

Christin Marie Taylor

University Press of Mississippi

Much of Eudora Welty’s writing during the Popular Front era shows a writer with an eye turned toward black workers and their centrality in southern American life, from the ordinary everyday to major political events. Welty’s use of fear and desire reconfigures discourses about black workers, including myths of rape in the midst of Popular Front anti-lynching efforts. With the case of Scottsboro and others whispering in the background, her interrelated vignettes and short fiction engage the failures of the New Deal to address the painful occurrences of lynching and labor oppression experienced by African Americans. The Golden Apples (1949) and other short stories offer a sense of racial terror, fear, and desire —feelings that not only challenged perceptions of blackness but also questioned the role of white feminine agency.

Keywords:   Southern Modernism, White Women, Lynching, Racial Tropes, Eudora Welty

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