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Andalusia Farm: Flannery O'Connor's World




I've read Flannery O'Connor short stories for decades because a few of my college professors knew her and maintained correspondence with her.

Last Sunday, while visiting the University of Georgia, I wondered if I were in proximity to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia. It wasn't terribly far so I drove to the small town of Milledgeville, to the farm she lived on until her death at age 39. She wrote her published works, on a typewriter, on a small table, in her bedroom.


Wandering the farm was an incredible experience because it brought her stories to life. Many of her short stories are set on a farm run by a widow woman, living with her highly educated, invalid daughter who is occupied in the world of ideas. The mother's confidant is usually the tenant's wife.  The tenant house is just yards away from the main house at Andalusia. And, the barn and milking shed are just beyond that.

The visit was an ah-hah experience for me, like a pilgrimage. It tied many loose ends together. It also led me to think about how a few acres were fertile ground for so many deeply insightful and complex stories. 

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