Visiting Mississippi’s Top Literary Landmarks
You can’t discuss American literature without mentioning the contributions of some of Mississippi’s greatest writers. Mississippi was home to some of the world’s most iconic authors, including William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams. To pay homage to these icons, Mississippi highlights landmarks throughout the state for visitors to appreciate. Allow Visit Mississippi to be your personal tour guide as we discuss these famous Mississippi authors and their landmarks.
Regarded as a literary giant, William Faulkner’s work has helped him become one of the most famous authors to ever put words on paper. For his contributions to American literature, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1955.
To commemorate the wildly successful career of William Faulkner and great novels like The Sound and the Fury, visitors can visit his Oxford, MS, estate Rowan Oak. Faulkner spent most of his time creating his literary masterpieces here. Minutes from downtown Oxford, the house sits on 29 acres. Guests are welcome to tour the grounds, as well as the home. Once inside, you will see where Faulkner wrote on the walls helping him bring his works of art to life.
The famed Eudora Welty is known to be one of the best short story writers of the twentieth century, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her timeless classic The Optimist’s Daughter. Take a tour of her home in Jackson’s historic Belhaven neighborhood where she wrote most of her work, including essays on gardening. Welty lived in the home for nearly 80 years. In addition to touring the home, guests can visit her personal garden, which has been beautifully maintained.
Arguably one of the most iconic American playwrights to have lived, Tennessee Williams created numerous classics including A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,winning a Pulitzer Prize for both. To this day, his work continues to be featured on stages and screens, as well as studied in schools across the country.
Born in Columbus, MS, Williams was raised in a modest Victorian-style home. The home was in danger of being torn down in the early 1990s, as it was the rectory of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The church intended to demolish the home as part of its expansion plan. Fortunately for visitors, the home was soon deemed a historic landmark and can be visited today. Open to the public, the playwright’s childhood home now serves as the welcome center for the City of Columbus.
Mississippi Writers Trail
Guests looking to expand their knowledge of the state’s most acclaimed authors can do so by taking a journey along the Mississippi Writers Trail. This educational tour pays tribute to Mississippi’s most influential writers through a series of stops around the state. At these stops, historical markers, which are in the shape of an open book, acknowledge the significance of places, events, and more in the writers’ lives, including their birthplaces, homes and gravesites.
Writers featured on the trail include:
- Margaret Walker Alexander (Margaret Walker Center, Jackson State University – Jackson, MS)
- William Faulkner (Rowan Oak – Oxford, MS)
- Shelby Foote (E. E. Bass Cultural Arts Center – Greenville, MS)
- Walker Percy (E. E. Bass Cultural Arts Center – Greenville, MS)
- Elizabeth Spencer (Merrill Museum – Carrollton, MS)
- Ida B. Wells (Rust College – Holly Springs, MS)
- Eudora Welty (Eudora Welty House and Garden – Jackson, MS)
- Tennessee Williams (Cutrer Mansion – Clarksdale, MS)
- Richard Wright (George W. Armstrong Library – Natchez, MS)
- Anne Moody (Louis Gaulden and Riquita Jackson Family Memorial Park – Centreville, MS)
- Dorothy Shawhan (Wright Gallery of Kethley Hall, Delta State University – Cleveland, MS)
- Richard Ford (Carnegie Public Library – Clarksdale, MS)
- Willie Morris (Yazoo Triangle Cultural Center – Yazoo City, MS)
Learn About Mississippi Authors
While on your visit to the Magnolia State, immerse yourself in the rich literary culture for which Mississippi is known worldwide. Guests can tour various landmarks throughout the state, as well as visit historical sites to learn about famous Mississippi authors. Visit Mississippi can help you plan your trip by offering recommendations on things to do, as well as other great attractions. For more information, please contact us today.