Friday, August 28, 2009

Novel Destinations

If visiting literary landmarks like Andalusia is your idea of rounding out a great vacation, then you may be interested in a book called Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West. This 2008 publication from the National Geographic Society is now available in paperback (in our gift shop - $13.95). Shannon McKenna and Joni Rendon give summaries and highlights of the homes and haunts of famous writers at over 500 locations, with in depth reviews of ten locations in the U.S. and abroad. Andalusia hasn't made it to this book's top ten list just yet; however, Flannery O'Connor gets three pages featuring the Childhood Home in Savannah, the O'Connor Collection at Georgia College in Milledgeville, and Andalusia. The book also lists literary festivals, tours, libraries, lodging, and other related places to visit. The Denver Post hails Novel Destinations as "a dream come true for reading enthusiasts who also travel." It is a fine guide book and companion to larger, and more photographic works such as American Writers at Home by J. D. McClatchy and Erica Lennard and Writers of the American South by Hugh Howard and Roger Straus III, both of which feature Andalusia. Of course, for O'Connor enthusiasts, the best guide book available is Sarah Gordon's The Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia published by UGA Press in 2008.


Friday, August 21, 2009

New presence on Facebook

Andalusia now has a new "address" in the Facebook neighborhood. If you aren't familiar with Facebook, it is probably the fastest growing online community in the country. It provides its users with an easy way to post interests, photos, events, discussions, and other information, which they can share with a limited audience of "friends" or with anybody who logs on to the site. Facebook almost serves as a personal website generator for individuals, organizations, and businesses. We started out with a MySpace Page a few years back, then migrated to a Facebook profile last year. Due to restrictions of Facebook, Andalusia had to change from a "profile" to a "page." Please visit Andalusia on Facebook and consider becoming one of our fans. Here's the link:


Friday, August 14, 2009

Tokens at Flannery O'Connor's grave

A good portion of O'Connor fans who visit Andalusia also take the time to see other sites in Milledgeville associated with the writer, including Georgia College, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. As is the case with the graves of famous people all over the world, visitors often leave behind something on or around O'Connor's tombstone. The most common objects are coins, usually pennies. The motivations behind this gesture are varied, from demonstrating affection and respect for the deceased to paying for one's passage to the afterlife. There are even voodoo practices associated with leaving coins at grave sites! In addition to the traditional flowers, some visitors to O'Connor's grave leave behind other tokens such as peacock feathers, pebbles, stones, poems, small books, and figurines. I once found a small plastic gorilla figure at the foot of her tombstone (a big fan of Wise Blood, obviously). On a recent visit, a Frenchman named Jacques Colin took some photographs of the tombstone adorned with several tokens. He was amazed that, over the course of just three days, the collection of the items on the tombstone expanded and was rearranged several different times. We encourage all our visitors to see Memory Hill Cemetery and the grave site. O'Connor's deep convictions and her fixed gaze on the eternal make such a pilgrimage most appropriate.


Friday, August 7, 2009


Because Flannery O'Connor has such a wide following, both here in the U.S. and around the world, we often welcome visitors to Andalusia who are venturing through the South for the first time. Some of these individuals are familiar with the region in southern Spain, the place the property was apparently named after by some of the nineteenth-century owners. In fact, a few years back we welcomed several professors to the farm who were teaching in that specific region. If our visitors are well acquainted with that Spanish community, they may assume that O'Connor and her family pronounced the farm's name as the Spanish would, Andalucia (sounds like AndalooSEEya). However, as well-established American Southerners by the twentieth century, the Clines and O'Connors spelled the name with an "s" instead of a "c" and pronounced it, AndaLOOshya. We still hear several different pronunciations of the name, from AndaLOOsa to AndaLOOseea. Frankly, it makes no difference to me how you pronounce the name as long as you make sure to come see it for yourself. I think you will agree, Andalusia es muy bonito!