Savannah: Flannery O’Connor Tour for Literary Tourists

William Law - Aug 29, 2011
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To read Flannery O'Connor's fiction is to be amused, provoked, and pushed to reconsider ourselves and our place in the world. A Roman Catholic and a native of Georgia, O'Connor created stories that inimitably blend humour, horror, and the mysteries of faith.

While her writing is richly specific, evoking the dusty back roads and quirky characters of the American South, it deals powerfully with universal questions: What does it mean to be good? How should we live? What is the meaning of death? How can the divine penetrate the everyday world?

In O'Connor's stories, deceptively ordinary situations a bus ride, an encounter with a traveling salesman, a family automobile trip erupt into life-altering revelations. In her essays, O'Connor delves deeply into the mystery of writing, why people do it, struggle over it, sacrifice so much of themselves in order to do it.

In her relatively short lifetime (1925-1964), O'Connor created a powerful body of work, including two novels and a number of short stories and nonfiction pieces.

Her fans can now learn more about the author on a tour based right in Savannah, Georgia, O'Connor's birthplace and childhood home. Discussions and reading of her work are part of the experience (e.g. the famous short stories “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People”).

Visitors can also look forward to exploring the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Foundation. The city itself and its beautiful antebellum striking architecture laid out around twenty-four squares is also part of the tour.

A private coach takes the tour participants to Milledgeville, where they are received at Andalusia, the O'Connor family farm by a close personal friend of hers, Mary Barbara Tate, and Andalusia Foundation director, Craig Amason. Dr. Bruce Gentry, editor of The Flannery O’Connor Review will tell stories about O’Connor’s personal and working life.

Part of the tour itinerary is also a visit to O'Connor's grave and the church where she worshipped in Milledgeville as well as watching the film of O’Connor’s story, “The Displaced Person” filmed at Andalusia.

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