The legacy of the American author Mary Flannery O’Connor, one of Savannah’s celebrities, is celebrated in her childhood home in the old district of Savannah.
Mary Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) was born and lived in this house till she was 13 when the family relocated to Milledgeville, Georgia, following her father’s new job; several years later, he passed away from lupus, which claimed her life when she was 39.
O’Connor grew up as an only child and requested to be treated as an adult early on. She attended school nearby, had playdates, played with her chickens, and taught them tricks like walking backward (Pathé News even reported about it). As a strong-willed child, she insisted on calling her parents by their first name, wrote remarks inside her books, and attended the adult church mass at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
O’Connor graduated from Georgia State College for Women in June 1945 with a Social Sciences degree. She then attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, graduating with an M.F.A. in 1947. By then, O’Connor had published short stories and worked on her first book, Wise Blood (1952), becoming famous as a Southern Gothic-style writer whose grotesque characters faced violent situations.
In 1951, O’Connor was diagnosed with lupus and returned to her mother’s farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville. She continued writing and publishing short stories and her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and taking care of 100 peafowls.
She won the O. Henry Award three times and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction for her book Complete Stories in 1972.
In 1989 the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home Foundation, led by Armstrong State University’s president and professors, bought the house and restored it to its original setting. A few items on display belonged to the O’Connors, including her bedroom furniture, baby stroller, letters she wrote, photographs, childhood books, and rare copies of the books she wrote.
The 30-minute guided tour takes visitors around the house and garden, telling the story of a middle-class American family during the Depression and about the life and work of Mary Flannery O’Connor.
The museum organizes free public events, including the annual Ursrey Memorial Lecture and the Flannery O’Connor parade in Lafayette Square.
The Andalusia Farm: Home of Flannery O’Connor lies three hours from Savannah in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she lived in her final years.
LCV Cities Tour - Savannah: Tour of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
Tour of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
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LCV Cities Tour - Savannah: Tour of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood HomeTour of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home
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