Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 8

GEORGIA News
Compiled by Jennifer J. Hewett
Celebrating authors
A glimpse into a writer's
early life
W
hen she was 6, Flannery O'Connor taught a chicken
to walk backward in the backyard of her childhood
home in Savannah. A film crew traveled from New
York to shoot a newsreel of this accomplishment, but the
stubborn chicken refused to cooperate. The enterprising
filmmakers salvaged their day's work, however, by
running footage in reverse of the chicken walking
normally. Then, for comic effect, they added shots
of ducks, cows and horses " walking " and even
" running " backward.
O'Connor won three O. Henry Awards for short
fiction and was awarded the National Book Award
posthumously in 1972. But the incident from her
childhood stayed with her, and, she later voiced a
tongue-in-cheek remembrance: " I was just there to
assist the chicken, but it was the high point in my
life. Everything since has been an anticlimax. "
Visitors will hear stories like this at the Flannery
O'Connor Childhood Home on Savannah's Lafayette
Square, where she resided for the first 13 years of
her life. The Greek Revival townhouse was built in
1856 and contains mementos from O'Connor and
her family, such as framed family photos and an exquisitely
designed perambulator with O'Connor's initials gilded on
the side.
First editions of O'Connor's works are on display as well
as one of her childhood books, " The Fairy Babies, " on which
she wrote a thumbs-down assessment on the title page: " Not a
very good book. "
The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home in
Savannah contains artifacts honoring the
writer's life, such as this soft-sculpture
portrait, at left.
Visitors also will learn that O'Connor
was known by her family and friends as
Mary Flannery. She sewed outfits for her
chickens, wrote stories about a family of
ducks traveling the world and, as an only
child, was doted upon by her parents. She
was especially close to her father and created
little poems and drawings for him that she'd leave under his
breakfast plate.
In 1938, the family moved to Milledgeville, her mother's
hometown. Not long afterward, her father died of lupus, the
same disease that would take O'Connor's life in 1964 at age
39. And though the world largely remembers the writer for the
wildly creative years she spent at Andalusia, the farm outside
Milledgeville where she famously raised peacocks, her childhood
home in Savannah also gives insight into the worldrenowned
writer she would become.
-Rich Warren
When you go
The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home is at 207 E. Charlton St.,
Savannah. Tours take place every hour between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Visit flanneryoconnorhome.org
or call (912) 233-6014 for more information.
To see the filmed footage of O'Connor's chicken, visit
bit.ly/focbc.
Authors Danèlle Lejeune and Don E. Cellini share
their books during the Annual Savannah Local
Author Day.
8 Georgia Magazine March 2022
Annual Savannah Local Author Day, March 27, Lafayette Square, Historic
District, Savannah. The Book Lady Bookstore celebrates local and regional
authors from 1 to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the Flannery O'Connor
Birthday Celebration and Parade. (O'Connor would have been 97 this year
on March 25.) Visit with authors and enjoy activities, such as chicken-poop
bingo, a wacky parade, vendors, music and costumes inspired by O'Connor
and her book characters. (912) 233-3628. bit.ly/savauthor.
JONI SAXON-GIUSTI / THE BOOK LADY BOOKSTORE
RICH WARREN
JREMPEL / CC BY-SA 3.0 / VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
http://www.flanneryoconnorhome.org http://www.bit.ly/focbc http://www.bit.ly/savauthor

Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2022

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - 9
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Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2022 - Cover4
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