The Books in Rory’s Backpack

Rory has trouble packing the books she’s reading into her backpack, which is already filled with school textbooks.

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

A 2001 biography by American writer Nancy Milford. It examines the life of the American poet, an icon of the Jazz Age who was an influence on Dorothy Parker, who Rory has already read. She has almost certainly read Millay’s poetry as well. This is the book Rory reads on the bus.

The Sound and the Fury

A 1929 novel by American author William Faulkner. Written from the perspectives of several characters, and utilising stream of consciousness, it is both Modernist (like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf) and Southern Gothic (like Eudora Welty). It seems like a natural progression in Rory’s reading, and is her second book to read on the bus, in case she doesn’t feel like reading biography.

The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000

A 2001 collection of essays by American writer and intellectual, Gore Vidal, written between the presidency of Bill Clinton and the electoral crisis of 2000. A provocative look at the history, politics and culture of America, including a revisionist look at Mark Twain. An indication of the type of journalism Rory is most interested in, Gore Vidal was the one who promoted the work of Dawn Powell, making it seem as if Rory is allowing each book to open her up to a wider selection of literature. This is her book to read at lunch.

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

A 1980 collection of short stories by Eudora Welty, previously discussed. The 1983 paperback edition won a US National Book Award. Rory obviously enjoyed the novel by Eudora Welty enough to try her short stories. It’s never said what the stories are for; presumably it’s an alternative lunchtime read, or an alternative bus book.

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