In his latest travels around the South, travel contributor Kevin Benefield let the region’s literary elite be his guide. In the first of his three-part series around the “Literary South” on “City Lights,” Benefield tours Mississippi by way of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams.
“Light and shadow play along the avenue as you approach the ghostly-white 1844 primitive Greek revival house,” Benefield says, describing William Faulkner’s home from 1930 until 1962 in Oxford.
In addition to vines Faulkner planted while living at the house, visitors will find riding boots, books from his personal collection and Faulkner’s plot outline for “A Fable” written on the walls of his writing room.
After paying respects to Faulkner at his grave at St. Peter’s cemetery, Benefield heads to Columbus and Clarksdale to chronicle the life of playwright Tennessee Williams. In Columbus, visitors can tour his restored 1875 Victorian home. While in Clarksdale, Benefield suggests picking up a Tennessee Williams walking tour map at the city’s welcome center and immersing yourself “in the steamy and oftentimes salacious world of the Pulitzer prize winner’s Delta plays.”
The final stop in Mississippi is the Jackson home of Eudora Welty. The Tudor revival house, built in 1925, is “regarded as one of the most intact literary house museums in the country. Every room is open to visitors and all the furnishings are original to the house.” Benefield says. Included in the museum are Welty’s book collection, edited manuscripts and gardens planted by her mother.
You can find more on the “Literary South” series in the latest issue of Southbound Magazine or on its website.
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