Saturday, July 11, 2015

Southern Lit Tour on the Fly

Looks like I might soon have a small window of opportunity to hit the road for a few days.  The schedule around here is so unpredictable that these "windows" appear and disappear again very quickly, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the moment.

I mentioned a week or so ago that my recent car wreck is, at least in the short term, grounding me from some of my favorite activities: live music, professional baseball games, eating in certain restaurants, etc. - all of those things rattle my ears painfully and set off the screeching tinnitus I'm still battling some three weeks after the accident.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that Civil War battle sites, bookstores, historic authors' homes, and libraries are nice and quiet (well unless someone fires a cannon at one of the battleground sites, that is).  

Anyway...looks like I might be able to sneak out of town around July 16.  If so, I'll probably head east so that I can focus on three or four states in that direction: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and maybe Georgia (if time allows).  The research is going very slowly at this point, and a lot of it will have to be done on the fly, I'm afraid.  And that scares me because, without even realizing it, I'm liable to drive past some of the exact things I want to see.

Towns on my list so far include:
Monroeville, AL (Harper Lee, Truman Capote)
Demopolis, AL (Lillian Hellman)
Mobile, AL (William March, Eugene Wallace, Albert Murray)
Jackson, MS (Eudora Welty, Richard Wright)
Greenville, MS (Walker Percy, Shelby Foote)
Clarksdale, MS (Tennessee Williams)
Columbus, GA (Carson McCullers)
Moreland, GA (Erskine Caldwell)
Savannah, GA (Flannery O'Conor)
New Orleans, LA - possibly (John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy, Anne Rice, among others)
Oscar, LA (Ernest J. Gaines)
New Iberia, LA (James Lee Burke settings)

In addition, I hope to spot some interesting bookstores, libraries, and book festivals along the way.  But it's mid-July, and I doubt there will be many festivals scheduled for this time of year.  

I know it's very short notice here (and, frankly, it might all fall apart next week), but I would love to hear from people living in the states I've mentioned.  Tell me your favorite stops and things I simply should not miss while passing through.

Thanks to all.  


  1. Wow! Talk about a themed vacation! I believe you've got them all Sam! The only ones I haven't read are the three in Mobile--need to check those guys out.

    1. Oh, what about Oxford, MS and Faulkner? And Square Books on Oxford Square?