Georgia’s Literary History Has Much To Offer | WABE 90.1 FM

Georgia’s Literary History Has Much To Offer

Nov 10, 2016

After visits to Mississippi and Alabama, travel contributor Kevin Benefield brings the last leg of his exploration of the “Literary South” home with a look at what Georgia has to offer.

“Georgia is ‘Gone With The Wind’ country,” Benefield explains, referencing the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Margaret Mitchell.

So, the first stop on Benefield’s trip is the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown. The ground floor apartment, where Mitchell wrote her famous novel, includes a look at how she lived while writing "Gone With The Wind."

Visitors will also find general information on the author’s life and an examination of the controversy surrounding her stereotypical portrayal black characters and romanticizing of Southern plantation life in the novel.

In addition to the Margaret Mitchell House, Benefield encourages fans of the author to stop at the Central library Downtown to see another exhibition on her life, as well as the Oakland Cemetery, where she is buried.

Just southwest of both Oakland Cemetery and Downtown, the Wren’s Nest in West End pays tribute to Joel Chandler Harris, known for penning the Uncle Remus stories. The oldest house museum in the city, the 1870s Queen Anne Victorian building includes information on Harris’s life and the African-American folklore traditions that played a significant role in his stories.

Alice Walker was born in Eatonton.
Credit Tara Todras-Whitehill / Associated Press

Southeast of Atlanta, in Eatonton, can be found the birthplace of Joel Chandler Harris, and also that of Alice Walker, known for writing ‘The Color Purple,’ which won both the National Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize.

Benefield explains that Walker’s book, set in the first half of the 20th century, “illuminates the lives of black women in the South.”

When visiting Eatonton, Benefield says to grab a driving tour map to discover many important sites that were a part of Walker’s life, including her church and childhood home, now a museum.

Finally, Benefield heads to Milledgeville, the hometown of short story writer Flannery O’Connor. Her home, Andalusia Farm, is where O’Connor “spun her gothic tales, set in the countryside, peopled with misfits and outsiders, and shot through with dark humor.”

Benefield says. The farmhouse includes a museum dedicated to the writer’s personal as well as professional life.

You can find more on the “Literary South” series in the latest issue of Southbound Magazine or on its website

Like us on Facebook.