The area from Charleston down to Glynn County, Georgia, has hosted some of America’s most beloved literary figures, each indelibly influenced in some way by the charms and mystique of the area itself.
Here are some literary highlights of the area, with an eye toward soaking in the aspects of the South Carolina and Georgia coast that had such an impact on these authors’ work.
Dorothea Benton Frank
- Fans can have a seafood lunch in Mount Pleasant outside Charleston on Shem Creek, namesake for her novel of the same title. Afterwards you can head over to the beach on nearby Sullivan’s Island, namesake of Frank’s novel Sullivan’s Island and the place of her birth. Edgar Allen Poe was inspired to write The Gold Bug by his stay on Sullivan’s Island during a stint in the Army.
- A couple of miles south is Butler Island Plantation, where English actress Fanny Kemble, married to the owner, was moved to write Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation, one of the first anti-slavery books.
- In Savannah, visit the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home and tour her church, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
- Devotees of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will enjoy the Mercer-Williams House, Club One, and Bonaventure Cemetery, which is also the final resting place of two of Savannah’s most beloved native writers, Oscar-winning lyricist Johnny Mercer and Pulitzer-winning author Conrad Aiken.
Melissa Faye Green
- Darien, Georgia, is where Melissa Faye Green set her best-seller Praying for Sheetrock.
- Connoisseurs can visit Charleston’s The Citadel, setting for The Lords of Discipline; Daufuskie Island, setting of The Water is Wide; and Beaufort, where he grew up. Conroy’s dad Donald, the “Great Santini” himself, is buried in Beaufort National Cemetery.
- For fans of the classic comic strip “Pogo,” there’s Okefenokee Swamp!
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition