Thursday, December 10, 2009

Peacocks and Prizes

According to Flannery O’Connor biographer Brad Gooch, the late writer identified with the nearly 40 peacocks she bought while living on her family’s farm. Gooch said in a CNN interview in 2009 that she “made an effort to make the peacock her own personal logo.” A peacock feather is part of the cover art on Gooch’s Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor published this year. A peacock and its feathers are also draped across the cover of my well-worn copy of The Complete Stories.

This summer when I visited Andalusia, O’Connor’s farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, the director of the historic site, Craig Amason, told me a secret. The farm would soon again be home to peacocks. I was excited to hear the news and promised not to let the cat out of the bag. The peacocks have now arrived. To read more about this, visit Andalusia’s blog.

While we’re on the topic, in case you haven’t heard, The Complete Stories, which won the National Book Award in 1972, beat out five other writers (including two of my other favorites, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty) to win Best of the National Book Award Winners. Read more about the National Book Foundation here.

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