Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vote for O'Connor for best NBA winner

No, Flannery O'Connor did not play professional basketball. In this case, NBA stands for National Book Award, and she did win one of those. The Complete Stories by O'Connor and edited by Robert Giroux won the NBA for fiction in 1972, the first time that particular award had been given to a deceased writer. Now, the National Book Foundation is sponsoring a contest on its website to decide who wrote the Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. The six finalists are O'Connor, Faulkner, Welty, Ellison, Cheever, and Pynchon. I am proud to report that, last time I checked, O'Connor had a substantial lead. Please visit the National Book Foundation's website and cast your vote for O'Connor.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Student Workday at Andalusia

Andalusia is very fortunate to be located in a town with a university that stresses the importance of community involvement to its students. Today, Andalusia is seeing direct benefits from these fine young scholars. Professor Gregg Kaufman brought more than twenty students today from Georgia College & State University to do some landscaping work on the front lawn of the main house. They hauled soil, developed beds, and planted shrubs. Some of the students worked on the nature trail also. We have had the pleasure of working with student volunteers for over six years, and I believe the experience has been great for Andalusia and the students. Are you interested in volunteering at Andalusia? We'd be happy to have your help.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recording Visits to Andalusia

Andalusia has been open to the public since 2003, and through the years, some of the guests have documented their visits on the web using personal websites, blogs, Facebook, photo galleries, and YouTube. It is obvious that coming to see the place where O'Connor wrote her stories has a profound impact on some of these individuals. Having so much of the original furniture and furnishings in the main house provides visitors with an authentic experience, perhaps making it seem as if Flannery O'Connor just left Andalusia for the last time. Some visitors ask us the inevitable question, "Do you ever sense O'Connor's spirit in the house?" Sometimes they aren't so direct and will ask if O'Connor died in the house. In fact, she did not. She died in the Baldwin County hospital in Milledgeville. I have never experienced any paranormal activity at Andalusia. I don't believe O'Connor, or any other former occupant, haunts the halls of Andalusia. However, the spirit of her personality and creativity are very much present at this place, and I believe it is that atmosphere that compells some of our visitors to document their pilgrimage in hopes of capturing and offering the experience to others.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Decatur Book Festival

If you happen to be in the Atlanta area this Saturday or Sunday over Labor Day weekend, don't miss the AJC Decatur Book Festival in downtown Decatur, Georgia (just east of Atlanta). Andalusia will be sharing a booth with the Flannery O'Connor Review. If you do make it to the festival, please visit us at booth #524 on East Ponce de Leon Avenue. We will be selling books, journals, posters, and other O'Connor-related souvenirs from the Andalusia gift shop and Special Collections at the GCSU Library. This is an incredible festival that features an impressive line-up of writers along with booksellers, rare-book dealers, entertainers, storytellers, and literary landmarks like Andalusia. Best of all, virtually every session and event is free and open to the public. Check out the website at for all the details. We hope to see you there!