Strip mall memories
Justifying the Airport

Close to Flannery


We went to the Margaret Mitchell House last night to hear Brad Gooch talk about his just-published biography of Flannery O’Connor. I haven’t read the book yet and generally don’t like biographies but I went to the reading just to mingle with a crowd of O’Connor fans and experts for a night. Just to be close to the author who was close to my favorite artist.

Not that he ever met her. But he met her classmates and neighbors and editors. He managed to interview many of these folks in the last years of their lives. He traveled to Copenhagen to find the textbook salesman who had a brief romance with Ms. O’Connor- and now we know what it felt like to kiss her.

The Q&A session made me realize that we all desperately miss her and want to know her. Poor Mr. Gooch didn’t get many questions on the 5 year process of researching, writing and publishing this landmark biography. He was more like a medium at a séance. What did she mean when she said this or wrote that? What was her favorite food? Did she enjoy music? What would Flannery think of the movie “Doubt”?

I teared up when I heard that she owned 39 peacocks when she died at age 39. Mug leaned over and whispered that his heart was a-flutter. I guess that’s what we came for.



I cannot say I am familiar with Flannery O'Connor. In the future I'll make it a point to pick up one of her books and see for myself. I had honestly thought that the Mitchell house had been beyond repair condemned and torn down. I'm glad to see that it is a historic land mark there int the A-T-L. I look forward to seeing it one day. Looks like you guys have the same fasination with authors that I have. I'd lose it if I ever met Rollins, Weisbecker or Krakauer. Glad to hear ya'll had a good time.


@Todd - I think the Margaret Mitchell house has burned down twice, or something ridiculous, but it's now fully restored and the adjacent building is a nice little literary center with exhibits and classes. It was heartwarming to see a big crowd for a reading like this.

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