Title: Thirteen Stories

Photographer: Dorothea Lange
Author: Eudora Welty
Publisher: Harvest [Harcourt Brace Jovanovich]
Designer: John Alcorn


Image Title: after: Ditched, stalled and stranded, San Joaquin Valley, California 1935
Photo Genre: Documentary
Book Genre: Short stories
Group: FSA

Eudora Welty wrote about the American South, the place where she was born and lived most of her ninety-two years. The cover artwork for this collection of stories is an appropriate, if somewhat generic, reference to the simplicity and old-fashioned gentility which exists in many stereotypes of that region, along with, perhaps, a bit of menace in the driver's expression. Compare the image to Dorothea Lange's 'Ditched, Stalled and Stranded' of 1935, in the upper-right corner of this page. One can have little doubt but that Lange's photograph is the source. The fithy clothing and torn interior upholstry have been cleaned up, and the drivers hat and face have been replaced. This is as it should be: In Lange's image, the man sits limp-jawed and glassy-eyed; stunned, as if he is trying to recover from a knockout punch, which, in effect, he is. That is the strength of Lange's vision, but it would be far too powerful, and far too specific, for this book's cover. KB