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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

The South­ern Lit­er­ary Trail is based on in­for­ma­tion pre­pared by a lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion for in­de­pen­dent trav­ellers. More: south­ern­lit­er­ary­trail.org. Su­san­nah Fuller­ton and David Hen­der­son will lead a Lit­er­ary Land­marks of North­ern Italy tour from Septem­ber 26-Oc­to­ber 18. More: asa­tours.com.au. • river­streetinn.com • bour­bonor­leans.com other is­sues that fuel a se­ries of rip­per nov­els. And it’s here, at the splen­did Stan­ton Hall, that I have the crispy, tender south­ern fried chicken I’ve been ex­pect­ing.

Fi­nally we reach New Or­leans and the French Quar­ter, with its nar­row streets, lacy bal­conies, court­yards with pretty foun­tains, jazz groups, plates of black­ened cat­fish and dishes of gumbo stew. Ten­nessee Williams found the city suited him enor­mously, fa­mously declar­ing, “Peo­ple rein­vent them­selves here.” He and Capote were renowned for their carous­ing and drunk­en­ness, as was Faulkner, Walt Whit­man, John Galswor­thy, Gertrude Stein, Flan­nery O’Con­nor, Eu­dora Welty and many more who fell un­der the spell of the Big Easy. Anne Rice, au­thor of The Vam­pire Chronicles, was born here.

The list goes on but the tour ends at the charm­ing Bour­bon Or­leans Ho­tel and our last din­ner is at Gala­toires on Bour­bon Street, where Williams had Stella take Blanche in A Street­car Named De­sire. I’m left re­flect­ing on how the cot­ton barons, slav­ery, Civil War and the Civil Rights move­ment of the deep south states pro­duced so much ma­te­rial for so many writ­ers.

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