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Why I Live at the P.O.

why i live at the p.o. - Eudora Welth - CarolynDaughters.com

“Why I Live at the P.O.” is hands down one of the best short stories you’ll ever read. See if you don’t feel for Sister. In a similar situation, you, too, might decide to live at the P.O.


Back in the day, I used to refer to literature as “lit.” I usually got smacked for it.

“I am confused, Caroline. Are you trying to tell me you set something on fire?” That’s what one of my English professors used to ask me before marking my paper down a third of a letter grade.

The professor in question was a Southern belle through and through. She introduced me to Lee Smith, Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, Carson McCullers, William Faulkner, and Mark Twain.

On a side note, you can refer to “William Faulkner” as “Faulkner,” but don’t refer to “Mark Twain” as “Twain.” A pseudonym is a comprehensive linguistic entity. The Southern belle taught me that.

I woke up this morning thinking about Eudora Welty. About how damn smart and funny she was. She was a marvel, so much so that God saw fit to keep her on this earth for 92 glorious years. And did I mention she was funny? Aside from Jane Austen, probably the best dinner guest ever.

Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.” is a short story told by Sister, whose grandfather, Papa-Daddy, has gotten her a job as postmistress of the smallest post office in Mississippi. In the story, Sister ends up moving in to that same P.O. You have got to read the story to find out why. Lucky for you, it might just be the best 15 minutes of your day.

You can buy a copy of Welty’s short stories here. Or check check out a collection from your local library. Get on that, will you?

2 Responses

  1. I love that story, but hadn’t thought about it since freshman lit (lit!!) with Ms. Kinzinger at JMU. Now I’m going to pull it out and read it again. Thank you, Caroline.

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