Mississippi author, whose books include A Curtain of Green (1941), The Wide Net (1943), The Golden Apples (1949), The Bride of the Innisfallen (1955), and Moon Lake (1980), stories set mainly in her region and depicting characters, often grotesque, who fail to know themselves or their neighbors; and The Shoe Bird (1964), tales for children. Her longer works include The Robber Bridegroom (1942), a novelette combining fairy tale and ballad form, telling of the wooing of Rosamond, the daughter of a Mississippi planter, by a bandit chief; Delta Wedding (1946), a novel subtly revealing the sensibilities of a modern plantation family; The Ponder Heart (1954), a comic fantasy of small-town Mississippi life, dramatized (1957) by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields; Losing Battles (1970), depicting a family of Mississippians trying to preserve their way of life in the 1930s; and The Optimist's Daughter (1972, Pulitzer Prize), treating conflicts between the daughter and the second wife of a New Orleans judge. One Time, One Place (1971) collects snapshots of Mississippi taken just after the author returned home following graduation from the University of Wisconsin (1929). The Eye of the Story (1978) collects essays and reviews. One Writer's Beginnings (1984) prints her autobiographical Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard. The Robber Bridegroom was made into a musical (1975) by Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman.