O’Connor’s works defined the Southern Gothic genre, and as a writer with a disability in the 1960s, Flannery O’Connor left an important legacy. Living just a few miles from Central State Hospital – the world’s largest psychiatric facility and an institution with a long history of abuse and malpractice – O’Connor has written 32 short stories, two novels and more than 100 literary reviews during his stay in Andalusia.
“She (worked) in a time when people were still sending their physically handicapped loved ones just out of central state and ignored,” said Cassie Munnell, curator of the Georgia College Museum.
“She was here on her crutches, still working, still posting. And it’s honestly really great that… people know she was disabled and still read her work. And the house also preserves much, in many ways, of its adaptive heritage. And her room in particular, you can see how she adapted her life to be able to get around her lupus.
Occupied by two peacocks, Astor and Mrs. Shortley – named after characters from O’Connor’s short story ‘The Displaced Person’ – Andalusia is open to the public. Lovers of history and literature are therefore welcome. Andalusia is preserved as it was when O’Connor lived there.
O’Connor’s impact on American culture is still felt today. A visitor came from Wisconsin and attended Georgia College and State University just because of Flannery O’Connor.
“There are so many people who come to Georgia College who don’t really know Flannery O’Connor, which would come as a shock to some people who come here because of her,” said Grace Rickman, a teacher.
“And I think (being named a historic monument) will hopefully draw more attention to Andalucia here. That being said, it’s a gift that people from all over come here and visit.
The property is now owned and maintained by Georgia College and State University. Andalusia is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tours take place at the start of each hour.
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