Rhiannon Leifheit left Illinois five years ago for a new life in Atlanta, Georgia, where she now lives with her artist-husband Drew and ornery chihuahua Rufus. Her accent is still Midwestern, but her literary taste is Southern.
The nameless narrator of Elizabeth Spencer’s short story “Judith Kane” feels the same way about the title character, at least at first. Judith is “beautiful, tall and put together like a Greek statue.” When the narrator first runs into Judith and learns that they both will be sharing the same house, she is at first in awe, hit by a wave of schoolgirl admiration.
I didn’t set out to buy a pair of overalls because of Zora Neale Hurston or her denim-wearing heroine Janie Crawford. I didn’t buy them for any sort of practical reason either, unless you count the fact that they cost next to nothing on eBay. That’s practical enough, I guess.
My favorite moment, the one that really gave me chills, was when we were standing in what had been Carson’s room and the tour guide casually mentioned that a good part of The Member of the Wedding had been written there. She pointed to a corner of the room where a typewriter had once been, and where a huge, enlarged photo now stood, showing McCullers in the exact same spot, with one hand on her typewriter as though she had been caught mid-sentence.
But after the shoot was done and Jamie sent me the final photos, I could definitely see a little bit of North Carolina in the Alabama skies and the dusty roads. And if I really concentrate and use my imagination, I can almost see Rosacoke Mustian waiting on her front porch for Wesley Beavers, wearing nothing fancy.
Clothes, of course, helped fuel our fascinations. Miranda wondered over but could never quite get her head around her aunt’s strange Victorian dresses, choosing instead to emulate her chic cousin Isabel, so much more modern with her “trailing white satin gowns.”