Two Major Author Homes in Western Georgia: Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell
Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians
Carson McCullers (1917-1967) grew up in the house at 1519 Stark Avenue, which is now open to the public and is situated in the midtown historic district of Columbus. Read a short biography of this classic author here at mccullerscenter.org and at britannica.com/biography/Carson-McCullers.
Columbus, Georgia, is a playground for the arts, entertainment, and outdoor recreation in a natural wonderland. The fact that you can visit the historic childhood home of a classic author in this midsize town adds an extra level of distinction and intrigue.
Open year-round, the mission statement for the home reads: “The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Carson McCullers; to nurturing American writers and musicians; to educating young people; and to fostering the literary and musical life of Columbus, the State of Georgia, and the American South.” According to its website, “…the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians awards fellowships for writers to study in her childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. The fellowships are intended to afford the writers in residence uninterrupted time to focus on their work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities.”
Fellowship winners reside in a furnished portion of the home for three months and are given a stipend to help cover living expenses. The process is competitive and is operated by Columbus State University.
Visitors are advised to call 706.565.1200, Monday to Friday, with at least 24 hours notice to arrange a tour.
Most Popular Work
The best-known book written by McCullers, and often required reading for high school or college courses, is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. It was made into a play, a painting, and a feature film. Read about it here: self.gutenberg.org/articles/the_heart_is_a_lonely_hunter. For information about the 1968 dramatic film starring Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke, whose performances won each Academy Award nominations, click here: imdb.com.
Erskine Caldwell Museum
About halfway between Atlanta and the Carson McCullers home is the historic house museum of author Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) in the small town of Moreland, which has a population of approximately 400 residents. The address is 7 Main Street. Tours are self-guided and hours are limited.
Erskine Caldwell is best known for writing the popular books Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre.
According to exploregeorgia.org:
“The nineteenth century farmhouse features art, memorabilia and press about the famous, edge cutting twentieth century novelist, Erskine Caldwell. His books, such as ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘God’s Little Acre,’ inspired the love of Hollywood, the respect of readers of fine literature, the wrath of those who didn’t appreciate his portrayal of poverty-stricken reality in the South, and recently the honor of his hometown.”
The Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell landmarks are the last two stops before the Georgia Author Adventures Trail’s final stop in Plains (having begun in Savannah).
You can read about more Georgia Author Adventures-recommended stops by clicking here: Georgia Author Adventures Literary Trail.