by Jocelyn Paige Kelly
Unexpectedly, I found myself at the Flannery O'Connor House in Savannah.
I was in the city for the day and stumbled upon this gem while walking around the town. It was a delight! The house, which has been preserved and restored by fans and family friends, is open for tours with the most entertaining of guides.
We had no idea what to expect. I'd been a lifelong fan of her writing, but had little knowledge of her actual life. My dad and brother who came along with me had no idea who Flannery O'Connor was. I simple told them, "she's one of the reasons I became a writer."
Apparently, that was enough to peak their interest!
I quickly discovered that Flannery was quote the literary critic. Even as a child ...
Flannery wrote: Not very good book.
We also learned that when Flannery had guests over as a child she'd encourage them to enjoy reading time with them. She'd pick out the materials and they'd read in the bathtub with the comfort of pillows.
(And when I say "encourage," I really mean forced.)
The view of the street inspired many future stories that Flannery would write. I found myself most intrigued by the photos in the great room of her and her family. Her strong personality comes through in every one of them. Reminds me of how much of ourselves goes into our own writing.