A portrait of Southern fiction writer Flannery O’Connor is shown on the latest stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s Literary Arts series. Along with her visage, the stamp—which is being issued tomorrow—features a background design of brightly-hued peacock feathers, a nod to a personal interest of the author.
After O’Connor moved to Andalusia Farm, her mother’s ancestral home in central Georgia, she devoted herself to two pastimes: writing and raising peacocks, swans, chickens, and other birds. She spent the last of her 39 years, before dying of complications from lupus, amid the property’s pastoral beauty, which inspired the settings for such stories as “A Circle in the Fire,” “Good Country People,” and “The Displaced Person.” Today visitors can tour the white farmhouse that was the hub of O’Connor’s world and which has been preserved exactly as it was in the 1960s when she was in residence.
The Literary Arts series began in 1979 with John Steinbeck on a 15 cent stamp. A new stamp has been issued nearly every year since then, ranging from literary giants like Mark Twain to lesser-known writers like Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. Along with the stamp featuring Flannery O’Connor, the 2014 version with Ralph Ellison is still available for purchase.