e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Authors - Oconnor Flannery (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and
2. The Complete Stories
3. Flannery O'Connor : Collected
4. Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
5. Flannery O'Connor: Spiritual Writings
6. Mystery and Manners: Occasional
7. The Habit of Being: Letters of
8. Wise Blood: A Novel
9. The Violent Bear It Away: A Novel
10. The Complete Stories of Flannery
11. Peculiar Crossroads: Flannery
12. Three by Flannery O'Connor
13. The Manuscripts of Flannery O'Connor
14. Flannery O'connor And The Christ-Haunted
15. A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's
16. The Presence of Grace and Other
17. The Art and Vision of Flannery
18. 'A Good Man is Hard to Find':
19. Flannery O'Connor (Bloom's Modern
20. Flannery O'Connor: A Biography

1. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 276 Pages (1977-08-23)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156364654
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The collection that established O’Connor’s reputation as one of the american masters of the short story. The volume contains the celebrated title story, a tale of the murderous fugitive The Misfit, as well as “The Displaced Person” and eight other stories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

Many praise Flannery O' Connor's work for her use of religious symbolism and often violent depictions of life.

While these elements are definitely present in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," I also took notice of the subtle foreshadowing O'Connor used with her words; specifically in colors, names and



4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and creepy
Excellent. I read A Good Man is Hard to Find back in high school and have been disturbed by it ever since. O'Connor certainly had a knack for describing her characters and making a perfectly innocent sound story take a turn for the macabre with the reader barely noticing the change.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Short Story Writer of the 20th Century
O'Connor is the master, and A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND is her short story masterpiece. Every word counts. Every word drives to the end of laying bare the pretensions of modern man. Every word pushes to see that God and God alone is one's good, even if that push is through violent indirection. If you have to read one fiction writer in the 20th century, O'Connor gets my vote.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ugly as Sin... and Just as Salable
The characters in these ten stories are invariably grotesque -- ugly of body and mind, perverse and/or perverted, and mostly moronic -- but they are not incredible. They're all revoltingly real, as recognizable as the most hideous sinners in a Bosch painting, unerringly portrayed specimens of human devolution in the racist impoverishment and isolation of the American South. Whether equally loathsome characters could be matched in stories of other regions isn't in question; all of Flannery O'Connor's gargoyles are from the South. Also NOT in question is O'Connor's genius with words. Here's her first-paragraph intoduction of one of her monsters:
"Besides the neutral expression that she wore when she was alone, Mrs. Freeman had two others, forward and reverse, that she used for all her human dealings. Her forward expression was steady and driving like the advance of a heavy truck. Her eyes never swerved to left or right but turned as the story turned as if they followed a yellow line down the center of it. She seldom used the others expression because it was not often necessary for her to retract a statement, but when she did, her face came to a complete stop, there was an almost imperceptible movement of her black eyes, during which they seemed to be receding, and then the observer would see that Mrs. Freeman, though she might stand there as real as several grain sacks thrown on top of each other, was no longer there in spirit."

Oh my! That woman is REAL. But however realistic O'Connor's grotesque characters might be, the situations in which they are placed in these stories are flamboyantly bizarre, at the edge of plausibility. That pattern is so marked that one has to ask why. It's probably pre-post-modernist of me to ask, but I will anyway: what on earth is the intention behind this so-well-written weirdness?

Humor? Caricature? One could imagine that the Coen Brothers turned to O'Connor for ideas their ferocious mockery of the South in their film "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" The tenor is awfully close.

Or simple sensationalism for the sake of sales? Plenty of that around today, but O'Connor wrote these stories in the 1940s, and I can't help suspecting that she had more earnest intentions than selling to the New Yorker.

Self-loathing? An indictment of her own milieu? Some of the younger and less deformed of her characters do express an aspiration to get out of the muck of their lives. Did she? I almost never want to know details of the lives of authors; if 'it' isn't in the words of the writing, it isn't there at all. What I know about O'Connor is that she died young, and if her short life was enclosed in the world she describes, it's no wonder!

I also know, inadvertently from other reviews, that O'Connor was Catholic, that her writings are taken by critics to have meanings related to her Catholicism. Frankly, I have trouble with that thought. If we are supposed to perceive the innate depravity of humankind, and the lust for any kind of salvation, then O'Connor goes too far toward Gnosticism. To suggest that the depraved 'souls' of her stories were created in G_d's image is to deny the sublimity of the Divine. Perhaps the Catholicism of her 'South' had inherited the Cathar dualism, or else exchanged genetic particles with the most extreme Calvinism. Or perhaps O'Connor was on her way, in these early stories, toward 'painting herself into a corner' in her struggle with the ideas of sin and redemption. There is a priest, by the way, in the last story of the collection, but he is a simpering fool, the closest thing in the book to an outright caricature.

The first five stories of this collection could be brushed aside, as just writing for writing's sake, but the sixth story, "The Artificial Ni__er", is a mind-blower, a monument in the graveyard of literature, that extinct human pursuit. Plainly I've got to read the rest of O'Connor's work before the prions get the rest of my brain...

5-0 out of 5 stars America's Kafka
This collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor helped establish her as one of America's greatest Southern writers. In her use of irony, dark humor, and the macabre, she reminds me of Kafka. Sadly, like the Czech master, she died way too young, leaving us to ponder the body of work missed had she lived even a decade longer.

O' Connor's stories are peopled by very flawed characters. Characters who are victims of their harsh upbringing, close minded social environment, and blind to their own cruelties, inadequacies, and prejudices, until forced to change under circumstances of physical and emotional duress. The subtext in these stories involves sin and retribution, redemption and grace. O' Connor's fierce Catholicism is a covert, but ever present force in her writing, as she uses her wit to train a spotlight on the unpleasant underbelly of her world, then focuses it to a laser acuity to attack it's rampant hypocrisy. ... Read more

2. The Complete Stories
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 576 Pages (1971-01-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374515360
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death—is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Also included is an introduction by O'Connor's longtime editor and friend, Robert Giroux.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars moment of grace
Reading Flannery is like reading the Bible, a horror story and a literary masterpiece all at once. She might not have liked the word masterpiece bc the word sounds academic or pretentious, but there is no one like her.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book for Everybody
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I am not a literary scholar nor have I ever studied Flannery O'Connor's works. As a high-schooler about to enter college, I have always struggled to identify the symbolism or realize the message of many literary works. Nonetheless, I was absolutely floored by this book, and it may be my favorite of all time. I did not pick up on the stories' less obvious meanings, but I found that the stories' plots are compelling enough and their language intense enough to be enjoyed on those merits alone. Although some of O'Connor's earliest short stories are sub-par (according to the Intro, O'Connor herself hated them), I loved the rest of her stories, especially "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Revelation." I highly recommend this book to anybody who may be interested in it, especially if that person enjoys "darker" (i.e. realistic) stories or stories with Southern characters (although, as other people have said before, O'Connor was writing about the world, not just the South).

4-0 out of 5 stars Savor this one.
I hadn't read any Flannery O'Connor before I picked up this book. Since I've finished it, I'm thinking about picking up her novel, Wise Blood, or maybe her biography, if there's a good one out there. I want to know what events in her life inspired such dark, weird stories. They read like fever dreams, full of odd-looking characters, moving slowly through the Georgia heat. Some find unexpected, divine revelations. Others commit acts so heinous you read the stories' end, over and over, because you...more I hadn't read any Flannery O'Connor before I picked up this book. Since I've finished it, I'm thinking about picking up her novel, Wise Blood, or maybe her biography, if there's a good one out there. I want to know what events in her life inspired such dark, weird stories. They read like fever dreams, full of odd-looking characters, moving slowly through the Georgia heat. Some find unexpected, divine revelations. Others commit acts so heinous you read the stories' end, over and over, because you can't believe how twisted it is.
I wouldn't read this book cover to cover -- I tried to do that at first, but then stopped because the themes started to get repetitive. Individual stories that stood out were A Good Man is Hard to Find, A Late Encounter with the Enemy, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, Good Country People, A View of the Woods and The Lame Shall Enter First. But all of the stories deserve a second and third read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great edition
This does contain every last one of O'Connor's short stories. The book itself is very nice for a paperback, too: smooth cover, sturdy binding, and clean-cut text. Other editions of these short stories are often printed with too much front material (prefaces, forewords, timelines), but this one lets the stories speak for themselves with only one 12-page introduction. This book is great for one's permanent collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Economy Read
A good low-cost collection of O'Connor's works, perfect bound and paper not too flimsy (could be heavier). Rather small format. Definitely worh the few dollars I paid for it online, saving the search at used book sales, etc. ... Read more

3. Flannery O'Connor : Collected Works : Wise Blood / A Good Man Is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear It Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays & Letters (Library of America)
by Flannery O'Connor
Hardcover: 1300 Pages (1988-09-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940450372
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Flannery O'Connor, a unique and important figure in the Southern literary tradition, was one of the finest writers of the twentieth century. This volume, containing her two novels, short stories, essays and letters, is the only complete collection of her works. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Flannery O'Connor
If you like Flannery O'Connor, you will LOVE this book! A wonderful collection of all her works plus essays and letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Complete Works of Flannery O"Connor
Flannery O'Connor is a gifted writer.Her short stories are jarring in that the characters are taken to the exteme.They are very effective tools to show the condition of the wounded souls who need grace and redemption.

1-0 out of 5 stars O'connor's work is astonishly misunderstood & overrated
O'Connor once explained that she wouldn't write (deeply) about Black folk because she "only knows them from the outside." What escapes readers & critics is that she also did not know the characters she wrote about, except "from the outside."

Her characters are, without exception, poor, white, uneducated, & Protestant--completely unlike her, her family, and the social and academic circles she traveled in. When you read her work with this understanding, all the puzzling & mysterious aspects of it suddenly make sense. All the clap-trap in lit crit-light, and in her own essays,that her work encompasses a glimpse into unfathomable but crucial religious concerns.... is just nonsense.

Readers' and critic concerns about nihilism are legitimate, because no one is saved, or reborn, or transformed, or otherwise bestowed with any of the blessings that are promised and/or merely implied by O'Connor's brand of Catholicism. In fact, her abject, monstrous characters are punished with violence and death (not to mention insulted by her one dimensional portraits). I am arguing that the REASON her characters come to bad ends is because they are guilty of being poor or working class, Protestant, and/or Black.

The fact that her tidy White Supremacy--in her work & letters--continues to be elided and downplayed by her readers, is odious to me. But truly, these other matters I bring to light--that her work is fundamentally an excoriation of people who had the nerve not to be born into her class and her religion--it just shocks me to see O'Connor criticism that fails to address the intensity of class & religious hostility in her work, and that writes off her latent racism as a minor glitch.

Doubt my points? Then re-read any of her work by placing yourself completely inside any of the "monstrous" characters, while abstaining from aligning yourself with the Om Narrator. Do that, and you shall see that the only living, breathing, believable person in her work is her narrator--herself. This kind of writing is not artful, and will only stand the test of time within the larger history of literary criticism dominated by Bourgeois white supremacists, because it will illustrate the endurance of class & race privilege--how long a class of people insist on being blind to how their privileges distort their readings of lit & of the world. O'Connor's disgust and disdain for her characters gives me chills--and THERE lies the true horror in her work.

PS: I couldn't figure out how to give the book 0 stars! Ooops-

5-0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Talent
But for the final episode of the TV Series, Lost, this season, I would never have read Flannery O'Connor.She died in 1964, and I thought of her as one of those boring writers whom only the literary elitist types found engaging.But boy was I wrong.Every single short story was packed with strong, interesting characters, a clever plot with surprising twists that stays with one far after the story is finishes.Try reading "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," or "Everything that Rises Must Converge," and not being effected.She has moved up to near the top of my pantheon of authors.I only regret she did not survive her Lupus affliction.She would have been only 84 years old, and the best writer alive.

5-0 out of 5 stars There is no one else like her
Flannery O'Connor--either you love her stories or you think her work is a about the strangest writing in American Literature. It is great to have her collected works in one volume to read and re-read and try and understand the underlying meaning she put into her work. To her fans and supporters she was a genius, there is no other name for Flannery. What a shame that she only had 39 years with us. We have to wonder what else she might have contributed to the world of literature. We have these stories from this shy woman who struggled with health problems, loved to be with her peacocks and who has to be the world champion of re-write because she was never satisfied she had it like she wanted it, this is a treasured volume. ... Read more

4. Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
by Brad Gooch
Paperback: 464 Pages (2010-03-15)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316018996
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The landscape of American literature was fundamentally changed when Flannery O'Connor stepped onto the scene with her first published book, Wise Blood, in 1952. Her fierce, sometimes comic novels and stories reflected the darkly funny, vibrant, and theologically sophisticated woman who wrote them. Brad Gooch brings to life O'Connor's significant friendships--with Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, Walker Percy, and James Dickey among others--and her deeply felt convictions, as expressed in her communications with Thomas Merton, Elizabeth Bishop, and Betty Hester. Hester was famously known as "A" in O'Connor's collected letters, The Habit of Being, and a large cache of correspondence to her from O'Connor was made available to scholars, including Brad Gooch, in 2006. O'Connor's capacity to live fully--despite the chronic disease that eventually confined her to her mother's farm in Georgia--is illuminated in this engaging and authoritative biography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good for newcomers to Flannery O'Connor
If you've read any of Flannery O'Connor's short stories and are interested in her life, this is a pretty good biography. It reads more like novel than a bio. Gooch also does a good job of showing how Flannery's life inspired her literature (though she despised reading into books and stories in this way). The sections detailing Flannery's interest in Catholic theology and various theological writings can get a little dense, especially if you are not familiar with them -- I'm Catholic and I still had to reread some pages. But Flannery's fiction was deeply influenced by faith, so if you really want to dig deeper into this side of her writing, you're better off reading some of the same theology texts she did. The book also includes two sets of photographs of Flannery's family, schoolmates, friends, editors and homes in Milledgeville and Savannah. I wish Gooch had been able to reprint some of her drawings and cartoons from her college days as well. At one time, Flannery worked as an artist for her college paper and had aspirations to be a cartoonist. Gooch mentions several of these drawings, but it would have been nice to see them. Overall, it's a good introductory book for readers just beginning to develop an interest in Flannery O'Connor

4-0 out of 5 stars The Mysterious Aura of Flannery O'Connor
American literature has produced an array of poets and writers that have captured the imagination of its readers.The works of Flannery O'Connor is no exception, and with many who have encountered her works be it in high school or in college, who cannot forget the somewhat surreal Good Country People that is embedded within an American Literature Anthology?As with most of her stories, very reflective of her personal life and one that stays with the reader.This anecdote as well as many more may arise when reading Brad Gooch's biography of the astute writer Flannery:A Life of Flannery O'Connor.O'Connor, during her lifetime possessed a mysterious and reserved persona that one could only relate to in terms of what she wrote.

That part of her life is still in tact in the book along with much elaboration that Gooch writes of that exposes and adds another dimension to who she was as a woman writer who had limits that she controlled despite preexisting illnesses that did not hamper her abilities if she could help it but also encountered boundaries that she crossed in her 39 years.Having been inspired to write a biography since exploring her work before and after graduate school, Gooch revels with the events that occurred in O'Connor's life, her works, and the story of how he came about to writing the next O'Connor biography, which appeared to be happenstance; in connection to O'Connor's friend Sally Fitzgerald already preparing to write a memoir of her dear friend, she passed away in the interim and left an unfinished manuscript, which Gooch would help to complete in six years.Beyond what readers already know, Gooch intertwines critical analysis and background information of her well known works but delves deeper inside O'Connor's personal and religious life, a devout Catholic and a native Southerner of the state of Georgia, born in Milledgeville, clearly lived within the world of literati and kept abreast with whirlwind associations that she wrote in letters and correspondences that she exchanged with close friends Maryat Lee, Betty Hester, Erik Langkjaer, Sally Fitzgerald, writers Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, and editor and publisher Robert Giroux, that helped to contribute to her creative and unique telling of the human condition of the characters engrossed between good and evil that would eventually find their way onto her typewriter at her homestead at Andulasia; with those underlying elements, O'Connor interweaved social and religious commentary within the storylines that are reflections of the turbulent period of the 1950s and early 1960s, the Civil Rights and Cold War era, in the South that also appear somewhat gothic in nature.

Flannery may invoke and surprise readers who may not be familiar with her life but may have had an inkling of what her stories may have been about.After reading this biography, perceptions may change on how readers have looked at O'Connor's works, and Gooch suggests that her writings are as comparable and notable as male Southern writer counterparts, William Faulkner and Walker Percy, indeed great American writers of the twentieth century.But whatever inclinations may arise, Flannery O'Connor helped to contribute to the great works of American literature.

1-0 out of 5 stars We're Still Awaiting the Definitive Biography
An epic disappointment.The flat writing betrays the subject and offers nothing new, insightful or illuminating.One will find no humor, wit or slight glimpse into what may have inspired this highly original literary genius; she remains a mystery.I longed to peer below the surface, however slight, for some personal details, some intimacy or feeling, or emotion, perhaps some conjecture on the part of the biographer, not merely a fact sheet.There must have been a rainy winter afternoon where she gazed from the window at Andalusia upon the bleak Georgia landscape, her eyes brimming, hopeless and frightened at the injustice of her abbreviation, thinking of someone, "A" perhaps, mistakes, Goodness and God gone, then a startling and terrified scream of a lone peacock...

Robert D. Ruggles
Banner Elk, NC

2-0 out of 5 stars Too much literary criticism for a bio
I think I agree with Flannery O'Connor in that her life was not interesting enough for a biography. Not much of interest about the life of O'Connor, but lots of literary criticism of her works, which is not what I was looking for. The writing also did not seem to flow well and I sometimes found it hard to concentrate on. I don't think that I would recommend this book to anyone except hardcore O'Connor fans who feel the need to read up on everything about her.

5-0 out of 5 stars A quiet and powerful biography for a quiet and powerful writer
This biography is indispensable for any follower of Flannery O'Connor's work.I first fell in love with O'Connor in a survey for American Literature that I took my junior year of college.We had read "Good Country People" and I immediately fell in love with O'Connor's wry sense of humor and comically grotesque characters.From there I read all of her short stories and novels.She has since gained a special place in my heart.This biography by Brad Gooch is a "revelation".He expertly reveals the hidden layers of this deeply private but very brilliant writer.I was surprised so few biographies have been written about O'Connor, but maybe her warning that a biography written about her would not be interesting dissuaded biographers. Gooch dispels O'Connor's worries and reveals a portrait of O'Connor that she herself would both love and appreciate.Written in an easily readable and inviting way, Gooch covers every aspect of O'Connor's life.From her early childhood and the death of her father, to her college days and time spent with the Fitzgeralds in Connecticut, and ultimately to O'Connor's own private battle with lupus.At times comic and tragic this biography is a beautiful dedication to Flannery O'Connor's life and importance as one of the best writers of the 20th Century. Highly Recommended!! ... Read more

5. Flannery O'Connor: Spiritual Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series.)
by Flannery O'Connor, Robert Ellsberg, Richard Giannone
Paperback: 173 Pages (2003-05-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$10.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570754705
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Flannery O Connor (1925-1964) is widely regarded as one of the great American writers of the twentieth century. Only in 1979, however, with the publication of her collected letters, could the public fully see the depth of her personal faith and her wisdom as a spiritual guide. Drawing from all her work this anthology highlights as never before O Connor s distinctive voice as a spiritual writer, covering such topics as Christian Realism, the Church, the relation between faith and art, sin and grace, and the role of suffering in the life of a Christian. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection
While O'Connor fans may be able to locate much of this material elsewhere, it's wonderful to have her thoughts on spiritual matters collected and arranged as they are in this book. Giannone's introduction is good reading, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Trove of Flannery
Robert Ellsberg has come through again. He provides us with a marvelous review of the spiritual writings of Flannery O'Connor, most famous for her short stories but neglected, up until now, for her deep analyses of the Catholic faith and salvation.

Ellsberg selects the best from the voluminous collection of her letters, "The Habit of Being," and arranges them for accessibility and understanding in sections entitled "Christian Realism," "Mother and Teacher," "Revelation," "A Reason to Write," and "The Province of Joy."

Flannery didn't want to be a voice crying in the wilderness. She wanted to reach an unbelieving audience even though she bridled at being called a "Catholic writer." She preferred to be called "a Christian realist" and said that "one of the awful things about writing when you are a Christian is that for you the ultimate reality is the Incarnation, and nobody believes in the Incarnation, that is, nobody in your audience." Flannery wanted her audience to be broad and for that she strove to become the best story teller possible, beginning with her stint at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She went on to become required reading in college English courses. There are PhD theses galore now on this most excellent of American writers.

Although she died just as the Second Vatican Council was beginning, she was awesomely prescient in her observations on the Church, including its warts: "We sometimes have to suffer morefrom the Church than we do for it."

This is spiritual reading, yes, but it is also an inside look at a great artist.

I'm not doing justice to this book, nor to Flannery O'Connor herself. You will just have to see for yourself, which is all Flannery ever asked us to do. ... Read more

6. Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 256 Pages (1969-01-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374508046
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
At her death in 1964, O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her too-short lifetime. The keen writings comprising Mystery and Manners, selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the directness and simplicity of the author's style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith.

The book opens with "The King of the Birds," her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. Also included are: three essays on regional writing, including "The Fiction Writer and His Country" and "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction"; two pieces on teaching literature, including "Total Effect and the 8th Grade"; and four articles concerning the writer and religion, including "The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South." Essays such as "The Nature and Aim of Fiction" and "Writing Short Stories" are widely seen as gems.

This bold and brilliant essay-collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of contemporary American literature.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars O'Connor's Love of Heaven
MYSTERY AND MANNERS is a discourse on writings in which the great O'Connor reveals to the reader the grand purpose of her prose. The transcendent is heaven, that which is unseen and mysterious. History is moving towards the goal of being with God in heaven, but life is lived out on the level of the mundane (manners). The intersection of the two centers each and every story that O'Connor ever wrote. Relentless in her eschatological drive, beautiful in her style, sharp with her wit,
this is a feast of intellectual and artistic delight. There is nothing quite like reading Flannery O'Connor, and this is a good place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars O'Connor's essays are invaluable
"I think that every writer, when he speaks of his own approach to fiction, hopes to show that, in some crucial and deep sense, he is a realist; and for some of us, for whom the ordinary aspects of daily life prove to be of no great fictional interest, this is very difficult. I have found that if one's young hero can't be identified with the average American boy, or even with the average American delinquent, then his perpetrator will have a good deal of explaining to do."

Flannery O'Connor's "Mystery and Manners" is, to me, an indispensable text: it has acted as my writing mentor for several years. As a collection of her essays, mostly about some aspect of writing, literature, culture, or religion (the oddball here is a humorous essay describing O'Connor's traumatic experience raising peacocks), "Mystery and Manners" provides a look into the mind and purpose of a great Southern writer. I recommend that those interested in O'Connor's works read this book before diving into "Wise Blood" or "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Without a clear understanding of O'Connor's intentions, first time readers may feel as if they are being sucked into a black whirlpool by the intensity of some of her works. These essays can help leviate that shock.

Here O'Connor explains why she writes the way she does ("The Grotesque in Southern Fiction," "On Her Own Work"), the value of regional culture to Southern writers like herself ("The Fiction Writer and His Country," "The Regional Writer"), what makes writing good ("The Nature and Aim of Fiction," "Writing Short Stories"), her view of how literature should be used in schools ("The Teaching of Literature," "Total Effect and the Eighth Grade"), and how her Catholic faith factors into her writing ("The Church and the Fiction Writer," "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South"). The final essay, "A Memoir of Mary Ann," discusses a cancer-wracked child's story--and that child's purpose. These writings, filled with both wisdom and humor, are valuable to writers with religious interests (Protestant as well as Catholic), to anyone trying to understand Southern culture, and to all lovers of good literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Breaking O'Connor Open
When I first read some of Flannery O'Connor's short stories I was baffled and a little disturbed by them. This book helps the reader to gain a deeper appreciation of O'Connor's craft, of her use of the grotesque, and how she exercises her art. To read O'Connor merely on the surface is to do it all wrong. There are many levels on which she is writing and on which she can be read. These essays not only serve as a guide for those seeking to understand O'Connor and her art, but in a more general way they serve for all readers and writers alike, by providing insights on the craft of writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars amazing book!
My husband purchased this book, but I'm going to write a review for it.He loves it, BUT...read the other books referenced in this book first, otherwise there may be some spoilers in this book.My husband only read part of it and then ordered one of the other books before he reads the essay about it in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars an excellent read
Flannery O'Connor has offered a challenging call for Christian artists to be good at what they do.She has reminded the church that beauty, the senses, and art must not be neglected. ... Read more

7. The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 624 Pages (1988-08-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$11.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374521042
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Special Award

"I have come to think that the true likeness of Flannery O'Connor will be painted by herself, a self-portrait in words, to be found in her letters . . . There she stands, a phoenix risen from her own words: calm, slow, funny, courteous, both modest and very sure of herself, intense, sharply penetrating, devout but never pietistic, downright, occasionally fierce, and honest in a way that restores honor to the word."—Sally Fitzgerald, from the Introduction
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Flannery O'Conner is an interesting woman/author.
I love this book.I am not Catholic, but I respect Flannery's beliefs because they are genuine.She was a very interesting woman to read about and the book is very interesting even though it consists almost entirely of her personal letters.She loves and raises peacocks and swans, writes books, lives on a farm with some interesting characters, and enjoys life even though she is living with a disease that was fatal in her time.I bought the book because the title interested me, had no idea what is was about, and had never read anything by Flannery O'Conner before.It is now on my list of all time favorites.

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
After hearing about the book from a friend, I read it and am so glad I did. I've always loved O'Connor's short stories, but it was fantastic to get a sense of who she was as a person. Her personality--humorous, confident, loyal--is omnipresent in every letter. Her love of birds, and how that came to be, is explored. Navigating the publishing world with all its quirks and downfalls is described in detail. The details of her relationships with friends and her mother emerge with clarity. And finally, how she coped with, was limited by, and marched forward undaunted by lupus is passively revealed in a number of her letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great experience.
Really excited about this book.Prompt service was an added benefit.Would defintely buy here again.

5-0 out of 5 stars I refuse to lend this to anyone.
My thirty-five-year-old copy of this book is worn to tatters, and not just because of O'Connor's killer sense of humor. When overwhelmed by it all, this book does the trick. These letterswon't be what her readers expect. True, they are ironic, economical, vivid, and eccentric. But their eccentricity runs not to blood, evil, and delusions; it runs to peacock farming.And--although a few noted writers are correspondents-- O'Connor mainly recounts the daily routines: setting the table, collecting the mail, entertaining the neighbors, reading the latest book. But seen through her eyes, these events are page-turners. Meanwhile, without one grain of saccharine, she conveys her acceptance, contentment, and steely dedication to writing while crippled with lupus (which killed her before she was forty.) But no bitterness here. Not only do you get absorbed in the writing; your own problems become trivial. By the way, aside from being one of the best writers I've ever read, she may also be the most authentically southern. By this I don't mean she's from the south. I mean she nails southern speech without ever resorting to embarassing attempts at "dialect."
If you're from the south too, you'll know what I mean.

4-0 out of 5 stars Give light to the rest of her writing
This book is wonderful. If you're interested in O'Connor, you should definitely read it. AND, if you're NOT interested in O'Connor, this will make you interested in her. This book gives meaning to all her other stories.

I thought the title, "The Habit of Being" was extremely strange. But as you read it, it becomes very clear why a) it was titled that and b) O'Connor exemplified that motto.

Throughout this book you will see a thoughtful, kind, and analytical artist love on her work and her friends--in the most natural, uninhibited way. She spells words wrong. She speaks of her failing health. She talks about life on the farm. In the next letter it'll be theology and Aristotle though. It's beautiful and you will learn a lot from it.

That said...it's almost 600 pages long. BUT, I couldn't put it down.

She's witty and extremely funny too.

One of her best friends complied this set of letters to share the real Flannery with the public. That she did, and it is a blessing indeed. ... Read more

8. Wise Blood: A Novel
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 248 Pages (2007-03-06)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374530637
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor's astonishing and haunting first novel, is a classic of twentieth-century literature. Focused on the story of Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate fate, this tale of redemption, retribution, false prophets, blindness, blindings, and wisdoms gives us one of the most riveting characters in twentieth-century American fiction.
Amazon.com Review
Wise Blood is a comedy with a fierce, Old Testamentsoul. Flannery O'Connor has no truck with such newfangled notions aspsychology. Driven by forces outside their control, her characters areas one-dimensional--and mysterious--as figures on a frieze. HazelMotes, for instance, has the temperament of a martyr, even though hespends most of the book trying to get God to go away. As a child he'sconvinced that "the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin." When thatdoesn't work, and when he returns from Korea determined "to beconverted to nothing instead of evil," he still can't go anywherewithout being mistaken for a preacher. (Not that the hat and shinyglare-blue suit help.) No matter what Hazel does, Jesus moves "fromtree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioninghim to turn around and come off into the dark..."

Adrift after four years in the service, Hazel takes a train to thecity of Taulkinham, buys himself a "rat-colored car," and sets aboutpreaching on street corners for the Church Without Christ, "where theblind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays thatway." Along the way he meets Enoch Emery, who's only 18 years old butalready works for the city, as well the blind preacher Asa Hawks andhis illegitimate daughter, Sabbath Lily. (Her letter to an advicecolumn: "Dear Mary, I am a bastard and a bastard shall not enter thekingdom of heaven as we all know, but I have this personality thatmakes boys follow me. Do you think I should neck or not?") Subsequentevents involve a desiccated, centuries-old dwarf--Gonga the GiantJungle Monarch--and Hazel's nemesis, Hoover Shoats, who starts therival Church of Christ Without Christ. If you think these events don'tend happily, you might be right.

Wise Blood is a savage satire of America's secular, commercialculture, as well as the humanism it holds so dear ("Dear Sabbath,"Mary Brittle writes back, "Light necking is acceptable, but I thinkyour real problem is one of adjustment to the modern world. Perhapsyou ought to re-examine your religious values to see if they meet yourneeds in Life.") But the book's ultimate purpose is Religious, with acapital R--no metaphors, no allusions, just the thing itself in allits fierce glory. When Hazel whispers "I'm not clean," for instance,O'Connor thinks he is perfectly right. For readers unaccustomed toholding low comedy and high seriousness in their heads at the sametime, all this can come as something of a shock. Who else could offeran allegory about free will, redemption, and original sin rightalongside the more elemental pleasure of witnessing Enoch Emery dressup in a gorilla suit? Nobody else, that's who. And that's OK. Morethan one Flannery O'Connor in this world might show us more truth thanwe could bear. --Mary Park ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Black Mirror of the Human Landscape
In the 18th and 19th centuries C.E., landscape artists often used a convex mirror made of darkened glass to aid in their work. It was called a black mirror.Turning their back to the landscape, they would paint using the reflection in the dark mirror as a reference.The image they saw had a compression of details, and a muting or loss of tonality.

Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood seems to have been crafted using a sort of literary black mirror to survey the human landscape.The characters, without exception, are darkly rendered, and many are physically deformed.Flannery reportedly gave little truck to psychology, saying that art wants to begin where psychology leaves off. Yet her main characters are tugged, yanked, and tumbled by deep and mysterious longings and compulsions that originate far beneath the crust of conscious thought.

Wise Blood is filled with completely undisguised hatred for the hyper-religiosity of Southern Bible-based fundamentalism, and O'Connor's ferocious characterization (maybe caricaturization is a better word for what she does) is both brilliant and repellant.O'Connor described this work as a dark comedy, and it is interesting to note how many reviewers comment on how comical they felt this book was.If indeed it IS comedy, it is a mocking, sneering sort of comedy, with as much warmth in it as a sleet storm.One can only laugh AT the characters, never WITH them.

When the landscape artist of the 18th and 19th centuries stared into their black mirrors, they saw a world deprived of color and somewhat distorted shape compared to the landscape that they had quite literally turned their backs on. In some sense, in Wise Blood, O'Conner turned her back on the fullness of human existence, and in this book painted a darkened and distorted human landscape.The full color of human behavior, including easy laughter, generosity, simple kindness, and love based on integrity and trust has been filtered out.There is, to be fair, a single act of kindness in the book:when a gentleman on a train is asked by a half-sane teenager to share his newspaper, he hands the youth the funny pages.

O'Connor was a Catholic, as was I when I grew up.She, like I in my youth, liked to draw a sharp line between what she felt was nonsensical Protestant/fundamentalist excess, and the (perceived) rationality and depth of Catholicism.One evening in a college dorm party that was well-infused with different varieties of alcoholic spirits, an atheist classmate of mine asked, "So, how exactly is Catholicism different than a cult?".It took me a few decades to work out a consistent answer to that question, and the answer led to a change in convictions.Flannery O'Connor's loyalty to Catholicism would have lead her to a different answer than the one I eventually arrived on.Which leads me to a line of questioning about her attacks on the hyper-religious that will surely earn me a fusillade from O'Connor-philes.It's a question about vision.

Self-blinding, both feigned for profit and real, is a theme in this dark novella.O'Connor relentlessly harpoons the hypocrisies and foolishness of overwrought Christianity (which many readers and critics have found of great comic value).Is her own Catholic Church any less subject to savage review (e.g. Christopher Hitchen's characterization of Catholicism as the church with the "No Child's Behind Left" policy)? Was the exceedingly well detailed history of the shallow spirituality and deep cruelty of the Inquisition known to her?Is O'Connor's distinction between her brand of faith and that of others no more than a highly literary and brilliantly conceived case of the blind leading the blind?Might those who laugh at the false prophets and shiny blue-suited preachers of O'Connor's novel, while taking comfort in their own safely distanced and advanced spirituality, be merely a case of the blind reading the blind?What might O'Connor have seen if she had eschewed the black mirror of her own religious convictions, and turned around to face humanity in all its richness rather than only the charcoal hues she so ably focuses on?

Lastly, this novel was cobbled together from stories that O'Connor had previously written.No mistaking it, there is brilliant writing here.But the roughness of the needle work used to sew these disparate pieces together, in my mind, denies Wise Blood a legitimate claim to the title of "classic",or the more mundane five star rating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Met Expectations
I am very happy with this purchase. It arrived 4 days sooner than it was supposed to. The book is in the exact condition as it was described. I'm pleased!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Is that were you escaped from?"
In a letter to a friend, Flannery O' Connor noted that most Christian writers have the tendency to turn their writing into "apologetic fiction"--meaning, in short, that the majority of Catholic novelists feel an undue obligation toward the public to soften (or change entirely the actual doctrines of Original Sin, Redemption, etc for the average reader's benefit.Though this letter dates from May of 1963, O' Connor's prophetic remark has only been proven more legitimate with time.As a Roman Catholic I have more than once wanted to vomit reading the well-intentioned attempts of both priests and lay people who do not write books but smear frosting on the mysterious, quite serious matters of Christian spirituality.This phenomenon is the result of believers who feel the constant need to appease the mass of readers who instinctually reject Christianity, often for reasons unbeknownst to themselves.

What makes "Wise Blood" so special is that within the scope of 131 terrifying (and drop dead hilarious) pages we learn that Miss O' Connor intends to make us familiar with a different company of Christians indeed. Haze Motes may be disturbed, but he is as uncompromising a believer/non believer as they come.A boy who once put rocks in his shoes as penance for sin, he is now as intent on getting that ragged, shadowy figure moving in the trees out of his mind and soul by any means necessary.O' Connor puts him in the town of Taulkinham--a Southern version of Dante's Inferno.

Here he encounters every manner of depravity: prostition ("Momma don't care if you ain't a preacher!") false witness to God (Asa Hawks,a "blind" preacher with a news clipping that does not include his whole history) and Sabbath Lily Hawks, who is often misread as being a mere whore when in fact she is one of the more sympathetic and lovable characters in the story. Perhaps the most hopeless of this crew is Enoch Emery, a deranged adolescent who is disowned by his father and who wanders the streets merely to be around people.He is so desperately lonely that one point he steals a Gorilla suit from the local museum just to endear himself to the general population.

Out of all the false prophets and madness, Haze is the most fiercely lucid and his anger is actually righteous, for all his talk about "The Church of Christ Without Christ".Each attempt he makes at becoming a horrible sinner fires him in the exact opposite direction.One might say he is an Albigensian of sorts, a Christian turned inside out, but apart from one appalling act he is never quite far enough from Christ to earn that title.His sin and blasphemy fuel his madness and vice versa, until...

While to most his act of redemption will seem like nothing but madness, it is no less an authentic act of moral outrage than Sophocles' Oedipus. The difference is that Oedipus was acting on a principle of despair, whereas the hope Haze never could not leave behind broils to the breaking point and shows him exactly what he is.

The point is that for Haze, Christ is all or nothing.There is no middle of the road, no middle class preening, no posing or falsehood.There is not one bit of falsehood in his being.

This certainly ranks up there with the greatest literature produced by Faulkner as far as the climate of the South goes.This is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, perhaps more relevant now than ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wise blood "A must read"
Wise blood explores the depth of a man who wants to fix his live, but along the way comes in to strange people. Keeps you in the story all the way in. A must read in high school.
Great for essays, reports , etc. I created one of my best essays from this book, and trust me i did alot. Anyways a very gruesome and extremely detailed book with great sense of humor at parts.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best!!
This was the first novel of Ms. O'Connor's I read. I had read her short stories and loved them. Let me say this; I finished reading this book and IMMEDIATELY flipped to the beginning and read it again. It is AMAZING. So dark and true and humorous and everything good literature should be. ... Read more

9. The Violent Bear It Away: A Novel
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-06-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374530874
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

First published in 1955, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature.It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work.In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop.A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world.Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos.The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Once again amazing!
Upon my finishing "Wiseblood" Ms. O'Connor's first novel I ordered her second, and unfortunatly final, novel. To no surprise this one was just and amazing. I am going to begin to read it again right away. I definitely recomend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars O'Connor's complexity and beauty, but this is not her greatest work
Tarwater, a fourteen year-old boy, has been groomed by his religious-zealot uncle to be a prophet and to baptize his mentally handicapped cousin. When his uncle dies at the breakfast table, Tarwater attempts to reject his destiny and goes to live with his other uncle (a realist philosopher) and cousin. He equally rejects this realist version of the world as much as he desires to reject his destiny as a prophet. The bizarre story is typical O'Connor irony, mixed with the grotesque and the sacred, revealing the warped souls and minds of man, while revealing the beauty of our world. It is unearthly and completely bound to the earth. The book has some stunning baptismal imagery and symbolism, a confusing and wondrous theme. But the book meanders and disappoints. Though I adore her amazing short stories, novels are not her strength. Grade: B

4-0 out of 5 stars The Weight of a Calling
Flannery O'Connor was perhaps one of the best American short story writers of the twentieth century.Few authors have been able to touch her quicksilver brilliance or uncanny ability to portray the meanest of characters.One of two of her novels, "The Violent Bear It Away" is more an examination of character, an extended short story than a fully fledged novel.

"The Violent Bear It Away" is the story of Marion Francis Tarwater, a young man who has been brought up in the backwoods of Tennessee by his religious fanatic uncle, Mason Tarwater.His uncle taught Tarwater everything he needed to know about being a prophet, but very little about the ways of the world.When his uncle dies, Tarwater finds himself at odds with his convictions and intended purpose in life and finds shelter with his only remaining family member, Rayber.Rayber has always been at odds with his uncle's preaching, and he sees Tarwater's arrival as a sure sign that he can redeem the boy from his misconceptions.But what the two have to learn from each other, and from Rayber's handicapped son, is more powerful than any calling either may feel.

With "The Violent Bear It Away" O'Connor created three very vivid characters in Mason, Tarwater, and Rayber.Yet their story is difficult to get into, with its nonlinear telling peppered with flashbacks and prophetic undertones.It has the trademark southern Gothic elements but is not as poignant as some of O'Connor's shorter works and seems a little dated rather than timeless.Yet it does offer readers a glimpse of the worldview O'Connor stringently held and her fierce faith resonates in all three characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting
"In the darkest, most private part of his soul, hanging upsidedown like a sleeping bat, was the certain, undeniable knowledge that he was not hungry for the bread of life."

Haunting. Flannery O'Connor, though she wrote only two novels in addition to her many short stories, had a gift for writing haunting works. The Violent Bear It Away is perhaps the best example of this. It would be hard to describe what this book is really about at its core - religious suffocation, the failure of reason, and the weakness of man are all major themes in this book. She is one of the very best Christian writers that we have been blessed with this century, and her unique voice should be heard by many more.

The battle of reason that plays out in the book is reminiscent of the "new atheism" in the modern era. In fact, this book so eerily describes modern atheism that could be called prophetic. The struggle between Rayber's character and his own humanity is deftly handled, and recognizable even for committed Christians who struggle against truth. To be sure, the inner battles of the people in this book are guaranteed to make the reader very uncomfortable. Few works of fiction go beyond mere entertainment, and fewer still can make an impression on one's soul like this book does.

The prescient descriptions of the character's inner thoughts ring true in a way that is missing from most other works. If you are looking for a book that will affect you, that will haunt you, and that you will want to read again even though it will make you uncomfortable, then read The Violent Bear It Away. Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Matter of Vocation
Flannery O'Connor said of this book, "It is a matter of vocation." She had in mind the choice before young Francis Tarwater to follow the path of faith after his great uncle Old Tarwater or the path of rationalism after his uncle Rayber. Young Tarwater's mission is to flee the faith of his great uncle, but in the end he knows there is no escape. Powerful, shocking, unrepeatable and undeniable, this is an incredible novel. ... Read more

10. The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: Pages (1994)
-- used & new: US$39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002L4A256
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Complete stories of Flannery O'Connor. ... Read more

11. Peculiar Crossroads: Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction
by Farrell O'Gorman
Kindle Edition: 272 Pages (2004-11-30)
list price: US$44.95
Asin: B003UTU99A
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The two southern fiction writers most informed by orthodox religion, Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy were also among the most influential southern writers of their generation. In Peculiar Crossroads, Farrell O’Gorman explains that the radical religiosity of O’Connor and Percy’s vision is precisely what made them so valuable as both southern fiction writers and social critics.Via their spiritual and philosophical concerns, O’Gorman asserts, these two unabashedly Catholic authors bequeathed to even their most unorthodox successors a postmodern South of shopping malls and interstates imbued with as much meaning as Appomattox or Yoknapatawpha.

O’Gorman builds his argument with biographical, historical, literary, and theological evidence, examining the two writers’ work through intriguing pairings—such as O’Connor’s Wise Blood with Percy’s The Moviegoer, and O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find with Percy’s Lancelot.He traces the influence exerted on their thought by the mid-century transatlantic Catholic Revival and by their relationships with southern modernists Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate.Ultimately, Percy and O’Connor embraced a Christian existentialist view that led them to dissent from both the historical, tragic mode of the Southern Renascence and the absurdist apocalypticism of much postwar American fiction. They were, O’Gorman concludes, transitional figures, more optimistic about their culture’s future than the modernists and more optimistic about the truth-telling capacities of language and literature than the postmodernists.

Despite their devastating satire of collapsing southern traditions and complacent American consumerism, Percy and O’Connor found hope and significance in a "Christian realism" of the "here and now"—focusing on the peculiar crossroads "where time and place and eternity somehow meet," as O’Connor described the writer’s world. Such, O’Gorman neatly reveals, is the two’s distinct legacy to a later generation of writers—including Randall Kenan, Josephine Humphreys, and Padgett Powell—who search for meaning in a postmodern South where historical themes seem increasingly problematic.

An impeccable exercise in literary history and criticism, Peculiar Crossroads renders a genuine understanding of the Catholic sensibility of both O’Connor and Percy and their influence among contemporary southern writers. ... Read more

12. Three by Flannery O'Connor
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 496 Pages (1998-07)
-- used & new: US$50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451526945
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Grim Amusement
Flannery O'Connor's characters suffer and suffer, but it's comedic because they die in the end. Her characters uniformly rage against God and organized religion, or else commit horrific crimes in His name, all of which speaks to her deep, abiding Catholic faith.

Am I the only person who doesn't understand this woman's appeal?

This is a collection of three of O'Connor's four fictional works: "Wise Blood" from 1952, "The Violent Bear It Away" from 1960, and the short-story collection "Everything That Rises Must Converge" from 1965, a year after a long and painful battle with lupus bore her away at 39. Only 1955's "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is left off, a good thing because "4 By Flannery O'Connor" may have been more than I could safely handle.

"Wise Blood" is the O'Connor novel people bring up most, a tale of a wandering misanthrope named Hazel Motes who, rebelling against the stern dictates of his preacher grandfather, decides he is going to found the Church Without Christ, urging people to shake off oppressive Christianity. His obsession with Jesus makes for a kind of reverse devotion.

"I seen you wouldn't never have no fun or let anybody else because you didn't want nothing but Jesus!" is the way one of Hazel's girlfriends puts it.

Hazel only gets worse as the story goes along, much the same way as the protagonist of O'Connor's other novel, Francis Marion Tarwater of "Violent". Brought up by a strange fundamentalist uncle who ups and dies, Francis shows up at the doorstep of an atheist relative and his mentally-retarded son. He is taken in and counseled he should put away his uncle's God-fearing attitudes, though this like every other tack in an O'Connor story only leads to disaster.

Of the nine short stories in this collection, only three don't conclude with some character being murdered or dying suddenly. The theme of blood is constant. "Blood don't lie" is the way a doctor puts it in "The Enduring Chill", and in other stories, this is borne out in the complexities and shackles of family relations. For someone dying of a blood disease, this may be the stuff of irony or despair.

O'Connor's stories are certainly unique in their construction, and she has a way with a phrase. It all comes together here just once, a story called "Revelation" where a waiting-room encounter makes a woman take stock of her life. As the soughing of crickets comes across like a heavenly choir, one gets a rare sense of what O'Connor meant by her famous quote, about grace being change and change being painful.

The rest of it was just painful. Are you one of those who get O'Connor? Good for you. If not, you aren't alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A jarring read!
Reading this book, I was struck by how often the macabre and the perverse is intricately depicted in O'Connor's stories. In sharp contrast to this theme, there is also a clear Christian sense to many of the stories, and those where it is lacking it is perhaps the lack of it which jars the reader most profoundly. This is the most masterful stroke of Flannery O'Connor; she can show fallen and falling human nature in all its grotesqueness an d can also show us how difficult the struggle can be to obtain the Christian ideal; how it is often easier to give into our baser instincts. These are stories which should rightfully jar us, and having done so, should lead us to reflect on the truths which they contain.

5-0 out of 5 stars perhaps our most underrated author
Wise Blood (1952)(Flannery O'Connor 1925-68)

All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.-Flannery O'Connor

Wise Blood is Flannery O'Connor's grotesque picaresque tale of Hazel Motes of Eastrod, Tennessee; ayoung man who has come to the city of Taulkinham bringing with him an enormous resentment ofChristianity and the clergy.He is in an open state of rebellion against the rigidity of his itinerantpreacher grandfather and his strict mother.So when one of the first people he encounters is the blindstreet preacher Asa Hawks and Motes finds himself both attracted and repelled by Hawks' bewitchingfifteen year old daughter Lily Sabbath, he reacts by establishing his own street ministry.He foundsthe "Church without Christ":

Listen you people, I'm going to take the truth with me wherever I go.I'm going to preach it to whoever'll listen at whatever place.I'm going to preach there was no Fall because there was nothing to fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasn't the first two.Nothing matters but that Jesus was a liar.

As you can guess the church is singularly unsuccessful, although he does attract a couple of othercrackpots:Enoch Emery a young man who works at the zoo and longs for a kind word from anybody;and Onnie Jay Holy, yet another rival preacher who believes Motes when he says he's found a "newjesus."

While at first this cast of bizarre characters, ranging from merely repugnant to truly evil, and thescenes of physical, moral andspiritual degradation through which they pass all seem to be just a littletoo much, the reader is carried along by O'Connor's sure hand for dark comedy.The book is veryfunny.But as the story draws to a close, O'Connor's true mission is revealed; Motes loses his fightagainst faith and he achieves a kind of grace, becoming something like a Christian martyr to atone forhis sins.O'Connor has something serious and important to say about the modern human condition andthe emptiness of a life without faith.That she is able to disguise this message in such a ribald comicpackage is quite an achievement.

Reading the book inevitably called to mind Carson McCullers' dreadful book The Heart Is a LonelyHunter (1940), which made the Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the Twentieth Century list.It toois a Southern gothic, populated by dismal misanthropes.But it is devoid of humor and has nothing tosay about the characters and the world they've created.Wise Blood is a superior novel in every senseand really deserves that spot on the list.


The Violent Bear It Away(1960)(Flannery O'Connor1925-68)

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away. -Matthew 11:12

Flannery O'Connor wrote with one of the most distinctive voices in American Literature; a kind ofgrotesque amalgam of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allen Poe, and WilliamFaulkner.She perceived the world in starkly Manichean terms, as a struggle between the forces ofLight and Dark, Good and Evil. The Violent Bear it Away is a psychomachia--literally a battle for thesoul--the story of a backwoods Southern boy named Francis Marion Tarwater (see The Violent Bear itAway and The Bible by Angela Lucey for more on this).The boy's great uncle, an Old Testamentstyle patriarch, kidnapped him away from an uncle, George Rayber, and has raised him to be a prophetof God.Upon his great uncle's death, Tarwater rejects the prophetic mission and heads to the city tolive with his uncle, who tries to wean the boy away from the teachings of the great uncle.Through aseries of increasingly violent actions Tarwater is eventual driven back to the woods and a finalacceptance of God and his own role in God's plans.

This is powerful stuff, O'Connor felt that exaggeration and caricature were more likely to reach amodern audience than more subtle styles ever could.Combine that with her vision of violence as asort of crucible which forces the individual to make a final choice between Good and Evil, and you'vegot the makings of a truly disturbing fiction.The book will surely not appeal to all tastes, but it isundeniably affecting and thought provoking.


5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best and most unsung American authors...
...can be found in Flannery O'Connor.But don't be deceived, she is not an easy read.Her stories are disturbing and her characters are often grotesque, yet the reader undoubtedly knows that the author loves her characters very much.We never feel that a bitter, misanthropic creator is behind the stories, and this is the same view that O'Connor has of God that is put forth in her stories.Reading Wise Blood feels like going fifteen rounds with Mike Tyson, and making it to the final bell.Although the reader feels battered and beaten up afterward, you also feel saved.This is the feeling most of O'Connor's stories leave with the reader, and it is a result of her deeply held faith.These stories are some the strongest affirmations of faith to be found in a disturbing, modern world.

Granted, some stories do not leave the reader with the idea of grace that Hazel Motes attains at the end of Wise Blood.O'Connor, herself, said that the old man in "A View of the Woods" is pretty as close to damned as any of her characters.But most of characters, we know, are saved, no matter how pretentious (the woman in "Revelation" for example), or misguided in thought.

The stories, despite their ugliness, are almost transcendent in where they leave the reader.In short, they are beautiful, and a testament to her faith.

5-0 out of 5 stars She Ain't a Easy One but She Pays Back Plenty!
O'Connor did not write for celebrity, impressive money, or so that she could look glamorous, sleekly pasted on the back jacket photo. Maybe she knew one day we'd have Danielle Steele for that. As it was, her photos ofherself were not something she admired. She wrote because she had talent,and she felt to do less would be do to a disservice to her gift. She wrotefor love, but not for sex.She writes characthers who search for love, forunderstanding of identity, wisdom, or redemption.As Ms. O'Connor knew,all of us who inhabit creation are weak and flawed. She turned her creativeand spirtual sights to showing us how we flawed creatures do what we do andhow we damage ourselves. O'Connor writes of suffering and love and faith,in spite of all that seems crude, awkward, and yes, grotesque, in ourworld. She isn't EASY to understand the way a romance novel is, or anadventure story. She's not writing that kind of book. What she writes inmulti-layed, but it was not, to O'Connor's mind, subtle.Still, O'Connorwrites prose that pulls you along as a reader, that she manages toencompase a tone or atmosphere in places that feels as though it wouldexplode. That's not bad writing--that's good, because you read it, and youknow that you're getting something profound, even if you're not sure whatthat is right at that moment. O'Connor believed in God, in that kind oflove. She knew how sickly we humans approach it. She attempts no less thanto draw us to an eternal message.She's not anti-religious in that messagebecause she's writing about the weaknesses of those who fail in theirstation, in what they were called upon to do, with what gifts they weregiven. That type of message may not be in fashion now, no more than it waswhen O'Connor wrote, but that does not make this fiction "poorlywritten." O'Connor was not a fast, sloppy writer. She honed her craft. These works will give you as much as you can put into them, and then some.The purchase price on this one is more than repaid by the intense value inthe meaning of the work. ... Read more

13. The Manuscripts of Flannery O'Connor at Georgia College
by Stephen G. Driggers, Robert J. Dunn, Sarah Gordon
 Hardcover: 213 Pages (1989-06)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$7.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820310581
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential guide needed for using the O'Connor manuscripts at GC&SU...
Offers a description of the arrangement of O'Connor's manuscripts in the Flannery O'Connor Collection in the Ina D. Russell Library at Georgia College & State University and notes that they illustrate how she "often produced dozens of variants of single episodes."

Discusses in particular the large number of drafts that exist for her last two stories -- "Parker's Back" and "Judgement Day" -- and indicates that they "suggest the amount of rewriting that O'Connor normally did [for her stories] and, consequently, how many of the drafts for her other fiction are missing."

Entries in the catalog "describe the physical appearance of the manuscripts in the folders and files, and the plot, characters and stylistic and formal characteristics of their contents." Details the arrangement of the 905 folders in 297 files and how they are cross-referenced to other related files. Provides an index which "shows the order of the files and folders...[and] how [Driggers'] file numbers differ from Dunn's. Also included is a timneline indicating dates O'Connor is believed to have worked on each piece of fiction.

R. Neil Scott / Middle Tennessee State University ... Read more

14. Flannery O'connor And The Christ-Haunted South
by Ralph C. Wood
Paperback: 272 Pages (2005-08-04)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802829996
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Forty years after her death, Flannery O’Connor’s fiction still retains its original power and pertinence. For those looking to deepen their appreciation of this literary icon, "Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-Haunted South" breaks important new ground, using O’Connor’s work as a window onto its own regional and religious ethos. According to Ralph Wood, it is O’Connor the Southerner and the believer who best helps us to confront hard cultural questions — including the role of fundamentalism, the legacy of slavery, and the lure of nihilism — with profound religious answers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Much about O'Connor
I snagged this book as soon as I heard about it, expecting that it would be all about Flannery O'Connor, and especially about the relationships between her, her work, and the Christ-haunted South in which she "moved, lived and had her being".The book did not utterly fail to meet my expectations, but it was a great disappointment.I got the feeling from reading through the book that the author really wanted to write about Karl Barth, and used an alleged Barth-O'Connor affinity as an excuse to launch onto long excursions into Barthdom, leaving poor Flannery all alone in Millegeville.
The best parts of the book were the occasional references to her letters, as collected in The Habit of Being.In fact, when I was about 80% of the way through Wood's book, I resolved to reread the letters collection (Sally Fitzgerald, editor).
This exercise confirmed my conviction that the best way to know Flannery O'Connor is to read her letters.This book from Mr. Wood doesn't add much, in my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding Flannery
I am a great fan of Flannery O'Connor and so is Ralph C. Wood; which is what makes his book about her so excellent.

In reading Wood's book about Flannery O'Connor it seems to me imperative to have read O'Connor's works first.He disects Ruby Turpin, Francis Marion Tarwater, Hulga Hopewell and her wooden leg.He understands O'Connor's need to make her characters who they are even though perhaps misunderstood by 'good Christian folk.'

When asked about the meaning of her stories, Flannery O'Connor said that "if she could thus state its significance, there would have been no need for the stories themselves:'A story is s way to say something that can't be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.'"At the end of her stories, "The reader is left with a deeper mystery to ponder when the literal mystery has been solved."

O'Connor was a Southerner and yet she was able to see and write about both its virtues andvices.Wood does a great job of explaining all that.

Wood's understands that, "O'Connor could have ended her stories less harshly and more 'happily,' of course, but only if she had been untrue to her characters and their complex motives.Such fudging of dramatic and religious truth makes for the sentimentality that O'Connor so starchily scorned, especially when it was prompted by allegedly Christian concerns."

Wood does a great job of getting to the heart of O'Connor's writing and thereby gets to the heart of Flannery O'Connor, the writer, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiration
This book is both an insightful exploration of O'Connor's dynamic Christian parables as well as an inspirational compilation of Christ-centered homilies. Christ, the South, and O'Connor are a holy trinity better appreciated by reading this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The question ofFlannery's theology
Wood's Collection still seems to wonder about Flannery O'Connor's religion. It would be very satisfying to find a statement of the author herself which expresses her thinking on the subject.
Such a statement actually exists in the public domain. The Xavier ReviewVol. 5 ,New Orleans, 1985, reprints two letters by Flannery. The first expresses her total and enthusiastic endorsement of an essay on her work in Vol 2 NO 1 of THE XAVIER UNIVERSITY STUDIES, "Shock and Orthodoxy: An Interpretation of Flannery O'Connor's Novels and Short Stories." It leaves no doubt about her theology.

Tolle, lege!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sensitive Cultural and Theological Analysis
Wood's study is a sensitive treatment that brings Southern culture and O'Connor's fiction into a reciprocally illuminating focus. Six of the book's eight chapters appear here as much-revised versions of previously published essays. Even so, the book hangs together effectively as a monograph. Its signal contribution to studies of O'Connor's work comes especially in its theological analysis, which relates her thought not only to the Catholic tradition but to twentieth-century Protestant theologians like Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Wood begins in chapter 1 by detailing how O'Connor's orthodox, sacramental and deeply iconic Catholicism gave her an appreciation for the Bible-centered Protestant fundamentalism typical of her native region. While revisiting "The Violent Bear It Away," "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," and "Parker's Back," he shows how the fanaticism of the backwoods country preachers and misfits in her fiction opens them to transcendent realities to which the nihilism and lukewarm liberalism of modernity remain oblivious.

He proceeds in chapter 2 to describe how the great "burden of Southern history"--the South's loss in the Civil War--imbued Southern culture and its literature with a sense of human finitude at once tragic and true. Wood brings O'Connor's unique perspective into conversation with H. L. Mencken's notorious disdain for the South, which he derisively labeled "the Sahara of the Bozart"; with the Agrarian author and former disciple of Mencken, Allen Tate, whose defense of antebellum Southern culture obliged him to jettison the specific truths of Christianity; and with Eugene Genovese, the former Marxist cum rehabilitated Catholic, whose analysis of antebellum slavery provides a corrective to Tate. Wood also makes brief forays into the Scopes trial, snakehandling, and O'Connor's luminous story "Greenleaf."

When he turns in chapter 3 to "the problem of the color line," Wood reveals how complicated were O'Connor's attitudes toward race relations. Although she was a strong advocate of the basic goals of the Civil Rights movement, she disdained condescending, quick fixes that would force blacks and whites into a contrived and ultimately dehumanizing closeness. Wood makes fruitful comparisons and contrasts with another of the South's great writers, Eudora Welty, and with O'Connor's friend, the Northern liberal Maryat Lee; he follows them with careful readings of "The Enduring Chill" and "Everything That Rise Must Converge."

Chapter 4, "The South as a Mannered and Mysteriously Redemptive Region" scrutinizes the formal gestures that established both closeness and distance in the social intercourse of blacks and whites in the South. Wood offers an extended treatment of the last story O'Connor wrote, "Judgment Day" (a recast version of her first story, "The Geranium") and an acute theological analysis of her personal favorite, "The Artificial Nigger."

In chapter 5 Wood examines preaching as the 'sacrament' of Southern fundamentalism, drawing on the work of Karl Barth, whom many readers will be surprised to learn was a major influence on O'Connor, and giving voice to her three multigenerational preachers, the nihilist Hazel Motes in "Wise Blood," the teen Bevel Summers in "The River," and the child Lucette Carmody in "The Violent Bear It Away".

In chapter 6, Wood's essay on "demonic nihilism" as "the chief temptation of modernity" demonstrates how full and fair a hearing O'Connor gave the atheists in her fiction, the most memorable of whom is Hulga Hopewell in the painfully comic story "Good Country People." Wood details O'Connor's respect for Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus and resorts once again to Barth, this time for his exploration of the nature of evil.

Chapter 7, "Vocation: The Divine Summons to Drastic Witness," traces O'Connor's understanding of vocation with a close examination of her uncouth prophet, Mason Tarwater. For O'Connor "the image of God in man must be wrenched from its unnatural thralldom to false lords"; vocation, defined as "the summons to live out the privileges and requirements of the Christian faith" is the touchstone of this wrenching.

Wood's final chapter 8, "Climbing the Starry Field and Shouting Hallelujah: O'Connor's Vision of the World to Come, " examines O'Connor's eschatology, focusing on those moments of grace that conclude most of her short stories and choosing as his examples the atheist Rayber in "The Violent Bear It Way" and Mrs. Ruby Turpin in "Revelation."

To his credit, Wood never stumbles over the scandal of O'Connor's stories, never blunts the hard edge of her characters, and never apologizes for the grotesque idiom she chose for her work. Perhaps the greatest merit of his study, though, is his engagement with the irreducibly theological character of O'Connor's fiction and unashamed owning of the truth claims that suffuse it.
... Read more

15. A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia
by Sarah Gordon
Paperback: 152 Pages (2008-02-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$13.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820327638
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Flannery O'Connor spent most of her life in Georgia. Most of O'Connor's fiction is also set in the state, in locales rich in symbolism and the ambience of southern rural and small-town life. Filled with contemporary and historical photos, this guide introduces O'Connor's readers to the places where the great writer lived and worked places whose features and details sometimes found their way into her fiction.

The guide describes such places as O'Connor's childhood home in Savannah; the Governor s Mansion, Cline House, and Central State Hospital in Milledgeville; and the family farm, Andalusia. Numerous facts about O'Connor and the people closest to her are woven into the site descriptions, as are critical observations about her Catholicism, her acute sense of character and place, and her fierce sense of humor.

Features include:

- More than sixty full-color contemporary photographs and numerous black-and-white historical images

- An overview and chronology of O'Connor's life and legacy

- Maps to sites in Savannah, Milledgeville, and the house and grounds at Andalusia

- Discussions of O'Connor's life and writings

- Listing of O'Connor's works and suggestions for further reading

All author royalties from sales of the guide will be donated to the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for a Flannery O'Connor fan
This is a beautiful book, well organized and first class quality in production. It is a must have for any fan of O'Connor as it shows so many things that were part of her short life--the houses where she lived, pictures of her throughout her life, and overall creates the world in which she lived and makes it come alive for the reader.As a companion book to the new biography (Flannery), it is a valuable addition to a library. Highly recommended. ... Read more

16. The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews by Flannery O'Connor
by Flannery O'Connor
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-03-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$20.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820331392
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

During the 1950s and early 1960s Flannery O'Connor wrote more than a hundred book reviews for two Catholic diocesan newspapers in Georgia. This full collection of these reviews nearly doubles the number that have appeared in print elsewhere and represents a significant body of primary materials from the O'Connor canon. We find in the reviews the same personality so vividly apparent in her fiction and her lectures--the unique voice of the artist that is one clear sign of genius. Her spare precision, her humor, her extraordinary ability to permit readers to see deeply into complex and obscure truths-all are present in these reviews and letters.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars O'Connor on Roman Catholicism
The value of having the brief, two hundred words each book reviews of Flannery O'Connor is that they show her utter devotion to the Roman Catholic Church. Writing for a local paper for the Dioiocese of Savannah, O'Connor seemingly read every new theological book related to Rome produced in the late 50s and early 60s along with a few Protestant ones. Her general style given the word limitations is to pick out a central quote from the book and comment upon it positively or negatively. Perhaps the two most revealing sympathetic reviews are of Teilhard de Chardin, who sought to reconcile evolution with the teaching of the Church. When he does journey into the realm of literature, she mainly sticks with recommending her favorites such Francois Mauriac, J.F. Powers, and Caroline Gordon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Examines Flannery O'Connor's book reviewing and comments on how they reflected her interest in theology...
Carter Martin's Introduction summarizes the "broad range of works" that Flannery O'Connor chose to review, including biographies, saints' lives, sermons and theology, fiction, literary criticism, and works related to psychology, philosophy, science and history.

Discusses the reviews collected by Leo J. Zuber -- her longtime book review editor and friend -- and considers why O'Connor contributed reviews to the particular publications she chose and the "recurrent concerns that emerge as themes in the reviews." Emphasizes her focus on, and committment to, books "about religion."

Concludes that O'Connor's reviews confirm that her art "arose from the religious convictions that she subjected to intenses scrutiny not only in her heart but in her mind as well."

Some sections were previously published in "Reader, Look for Yourself': Recovered Book Reviews," [Georgia Review 37.2 (1983): 371-82]. Provides an author and title index.

Reviewer's Note: Carter Martin is the author of: The True Country: Themes in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 1994); and, contributed a number of articles to The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin and other published anthologies of criticism. His Ph.D. dissertation, completed at Vanderbilt University in 1991, is titled: "The Ethical Implications of Flannery O'Connor's 'Prophetic Imagination.'"

R. Neil Scott / Middle Tennessee State University
... Read more

17. The Art and Vision of Flannery O'Connor (Southern Literary Studies)
by Robert H., Jr. Brinkmeyer
Paperback: 201 Pages (1993-07-01)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807118532
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Brinkmeyer offers an explanation for the great depth and power of O'Connor's work,paying particular attention to the ways her art and audience bear upon her regnant Catholic vision. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Explores the role of the narrator, types of characters and conflicting views Flannery O'Connor had of her readers...
Suggests that O'Connor's "fiction arises from pressure and resistance" and draws "from voices both within and without herself" to test and challenge "her self-conception and her faith." Brinkmeyer acknowledges that his approach is partially based upon "the type of dialogic encounter" seen in Mikhail Bakhtin's work. Remarks that O'Connor's ability to give "free expression to her fundamentalist voice and to other voices of her self rather than monologically suppressing them is a crucial factor behind her artistic greatness."

Explores "the crucial role that the narrator plays in the dynamic of O'Connor's fiction." Discusses Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and four stories: "Everything That Rises Must Converge," "The Artificial Nigger," "The Enduring Chill," and "The Lame Shall Enter First." Contends that "the narrator is a central figure in O'Connor's stories, and the narrator's relationship with both O'Connor and the story itself is fraught with tension." Sees the novels as displaying "an intensification of the narrator's perspective," and as having a subject matter that is openly religious and fundamentalist, resulting in "a more charged religious tone and tension." Argues that O'Connor "was pressured" by the narrator and, "as the narrator was, by the narrative, and particularly by the characters and their interactions." Notes that Bakhtin frequently discussed this dynamic and argued that "in the best fiction characters exert profound pressure on the author."

Discusses three types of O'Connor's characters: intellectuals, artists, and prophet-freaks, chosen "because they all embody aspects of O'Connor that, at their extreme, come into potential conflict with her overriding Catholic ideology." Characters discussed include: Sheppard, Rayber, Joy/Hulga Hopewell, Mrs. Hopewell, Asbury, Julian, Calhoun, Mary Elizabeth, Singleton, Old Tarwater, Lucette Carmody, Hazel Motes, The Misfit, and the grandmother.

Suggests that O'Connor had conflicting views regarding her readers, sometimes downplaying their significance while, at other times, arguing that readers "played a crucial role in artistic creation and that writers always had to be aware of, and to take account of" them. Explores these assertions and relates that because she kept her readers in mind when she wrote, O'Connor "entered into a profound interplay with aspects of herself usually suppressed by her ruling Catholicism," a process which brought her Catholic vision "under pressure and challenge."

Adapted by R. Neil Scott from: Scott, R. Neil. FLANNERY O'CONNOR: AN ANNOTATED REFERENCE GUIDE TO CRITICISM. Milledgeville, GA: Timberlane Books, 2002. TimberlaneBooks.com
... Read more

18. 'A Good Man is Hard to Find': Flannery O'Connor
Kindle Edition: 190 Pages (1993-07-01)
list price: US$14.21
Asin: B000SC0GJ0
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Part of The Wadsworth Casebooks for Reading, Research, and Writing Series, this new title provides all the materials a student needs to complete a literary research assignment in one convenient location. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Good Main is Hard to Find
Not the book I was looking for - but for someone writing a research paper on this particular short story; it would be more helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Careful analysis of a great story !
Designed as a casebook "for both beginning and advanced students," the editor, Frederick Asals, of the University of Toronto, provides an authoritative text of Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," a twenty-two page Introduction and a chronology of O'Connor's life and work. Also, includes two items by O'Connor (introductory remarks at a reading of the story and excerpts from two letters), reprints of ten critical essays, and a select bibliography.

Asals remarks in Part I of his three-part Introduction that "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is probably O'Connor's best-known work. Describes the story as one which "makes available more rapidly and obviously than anything else she ever wrote [the] unsettling mix of comedy, violence, and religious concern that characterizes her fiction." Details the story's publication history and discusses its place within the context of the 1950s and "Southern nostalgia."

In Part II of his Introduction, Asals discusses at length -- and offers specific examples of -- the criticism and analysis the story has undergone since its publication in Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate's anthology, "The House of Fiction."

In Part III, Asals offers insights into the story's meaning. Discusses the design of the story's action (to close the gap between the grandmother and The Misfit) and offers a view of The Misfit as "a variation on that enduring American type, the individualistic male whose violence both expresses and substitutes for inner incompleteness."

Comments on the grandmother's various roles, including her adoption at the end of the story of that of assuming an "archetypal female role." Discusses the impact and overall importance of this story within the context of American literature.

The ten critical essays reprinted and included in the volume are:

Bellamy, Michael O. "Everything Off Balance: Protestant Election in Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find,'" Rpt. from The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin (1979): 116-24.

Bryant, Hallman B. "Reading the Map in 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find,'" Rpt. from Studies in Short Fiction 18 (1981): 301-07.

Doxey, William S. "A Dissenting Opinion of Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find,'" Rpt. from Studies in Short Fiction 10 (1973): 199-204.

Dyson, Peter. "Cats, Crime, and Punishment: The Mikado's Pitti-Sing in 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find," Rpt. from English Studies in Canada 14 (1988): 436-52.

Jones, Madison. "A Good Man's Predicament," Rpt. from The Southern Review 20 (1984): 836-41.

Marks, W.S., III. "Advertisements for Grace: Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find,'" Rpt. from Studies in Short Fiction 4 (1966): 19-27.

Martin, Carter. "'The Meanest of Them Sparkled': Beauty and Landscape in Flannery O'Connor's Fiction," Rpt. from Realist of Distances: Flannery O'Connor Revisited. Ed. Karl-Heinz Westarp and Jan Nordby Gretlund (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus UP, 1987): 147-59.

Scheick, William J. "Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find' and G.K. Chesterton's Manalive," Rpt. from Studies in American Fiction 11 (1983): 241-45.

Schenck, Mary Jane. "Deconstructed Meaning in ['A Good Man Is Hard to Find']," [Originally published under title: "Deconstructed Meaning in Two Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor"] Rpt. from from Ambiguities in Literature and Film. Ed. Hans P. Braendlin (Tallahassee: Florida State UP,: 125-35.

Tate, J.O. "A Good Source Is Not So Hard to Find," Rpt. from The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin 9 (1980): 98-102.

Highly recommended for college and university library collections.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW! What a great story...don't read the other review!
Don't read that other review...it will ruin the whole point of the book. Without giving anything away, I will just say that this is an amazing book, and it stirred several emotions....and I can't say more without giving it away....so I will just recommend you read it! Well written, great, great book! Takes no time to read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Oddball prophets caught in the web they wove themselves.
They are misfits, wanderers, and souls searching for faith and absolution. Many of them are, to one extent or another, hypocrites; others are almost unbelievably naive. All of them are Southerners -- and yet, even the most outlandish among Flannery O'Connor's protagonists come across as entirely believable, complex characters whom, regardless of location, you might expect to come across in your own travels, too; and there is no telling how such an encounter would turn out.

Of course, you would hope it does not prove quite as disastrous as the title story's chance meeting of a family taking a wrong turn (on the road as much as figuratively) and the self-proclaimed Misfit haunting that particular area of Georgia; which culminates in a bizarre conversation, the failure of communication underneath which only adds to the reader's growing feeling of helplessness in view of impending doom. And such a sense of irreversible destiny pervades many a story in this collection; yet, while as in O'Connor's writing in general, her and her protagonists' Catholic faith plays a dominant role in the course of the events, that course is not so much brought about by the hand of God as by the characters' own acts, decisions, judgments and prejudices.

Freakish as they are, O'Connor's (anti-)heroes are meant to be prophets, messengers of a long forgotten responsibility, as she explained in her 1963 essay "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South:" their prophecy is "a matter of seeing near things with their extensions of meaning and thus of seeing far things close up." Often, she uses names, titles and items of every day life and imbues them with a new meaning in the context of her stories; this collection's title story, for example, is named for a blues song popularized by Bessie Smith in the late 1920s, and a cautionary road sign commonly seen in the 1950s ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own") becomes the title and motto of a story about a wanderer's encounter with a mother and her handicapped daughter who take him in, only to use that purported charity to their own advantage -- at the end of which, predictably, nobody is the better off. Indeed, the endings of O'Connor's stories are as far from your standard happy ending as you can imagine; and while you cannot help but develop, early on, a premonition of doom, most of the time the precise nature of that doom is anything but predictable.

"A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories" was Flannery O'Connor's first published collection of short stories; yet, by the time these stories appeared (nine of the ten were published in various magazines between 1953 and 1955 before their inclusion in this 1955 collection) she was already an accomplished writer, with not only a novel under her belt ("Wise Blood," 1952) but also, and significantly, a master's thesis likewise consisting of a collection of short stories, entitled "The Geranium and Other Stories" (1947; first published as a collection in 1971's National Book Award winning "The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor," although several of those stories had likewise been published individually before). Two of the stories included in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" count among O'Connor's six winners of the O'Henry Award for Short Fiction ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own" and "The Circle in the Fire," again an exploration of insincerity, half-hearted charity and its exploitation); and the collection as a whole, even more than her first novel, quickly established her as a masterful storyteller, endowed with vision, an unfailing sense for language and a supreme feeling for the use of irony; all of which have long since placed her firmly in the first tier of 20th century American authors.

Flannery O'Connor died, at the age of 39, of lupus, an inflammatory disease which in less severe forms may not be more than an (albeit substantial) nuisance, but which proved fatal in her case as well as that of her father before her. Her literary career, almost the sole focus of her life from the moment that she was diagnosed onwards, was thus cut short way before her time. Yet, to this day her writing holds a unique position in contemporary literature; and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is an excellent place to start exploring her work.

Also recommended:
Eudora Welty : Stories, Essays & Memoir (Library of America, 102)
Eudora Welty : Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter (Library of America)
Flannery O'Connor : Collected Works : Wise Blood / A Good Man Is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear It Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays & Letters (Library of America)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter/Reflections in a Golden Eye/The Ballad of the Sad Cafe/The Member of the Wedding/The Clock Without Hands (Library of America)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Universal Legacy Series) ... Read more

19. Flannery O'Connor (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
Hardcover: 185 Pages (2009-08-30)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$29.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1604135891
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Bloom reviews some of Flannery O'Conner's most famous short stories, including "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," "Good Country People," "Everything That Rises Must Converge," and "Revelation."

This title also features a biography of Flannery O'Connor, a user guide, a detailed thematic analysis of each short story, a list of characters in each story, a complete bibliography of O'Connor’s works, an index of themes and ideas, and editor’s notes and introduction by Harold Bloom.

This series, Bloom’s Major Short Story Writers, is edited by Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities, Yale University; Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English, New York University Graduate School; preeminent literary critic of our time. The world’s most prominent writers of short stories are covered in one series with expert analysis by Bloom and other critics. These titles contain a wealth of information on the writers and short stories that are most commonly read in high schools, colleges, and universities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding Flannery O'Connor's Genius
The Harold Bloom edited MODERN CRITICAL VIEWS: FLANNERY O'CONNOR is a collection of critical essays dissecting O'Connor's fiction over a period of thirty years. The towering essay above all others is Robert Fitzgerald's "The Countryside and the True Country" where he argues that Fitzgerald's stories are always pointing beyond the visual to the unseen, beyond even the pastoral to the yet realized. This, according to Fitzgerald, energizes O'Connor's writing with a Pauline quality that does not abide the religiously lukewarm. Almost all of her characters consequently are displaced, whether they realize it or not.

Fitzgerald also contributes the excellent "Everything That Rises Must Converge" where he contends that O'Connor gave the godless a force appropriate to the foce it actually has. The pushing back of belief, then, must be has violent as the force pushing against it. Fitzgerald maintains then that the humility of her style is deceptive for "the true range of her stories is vertical and Dantesque in what is taken in, in scale of implication."

Apart from Fitzgerald's stunning analysis, there is also a pentrating piece by John Burt, "What You Can't Talk About." Burt explores the characters in O'Connor's fiction who are searching for meaning, but struggle with the incomprehensibility of God. In Burt's opinion, O'Connor deliberately creates a dialectic keeping the search and the frustration in tension, a preserving of manners and mystery. But in the end, grace prevails, however briefly, however indirectly.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves O'Connor's writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Though now two decades old, still a good place to start for O'Connor readers...
Though Bloom contends that this indexed volume brings together the "best criticism" available related to O'Connor's fiction, two decades have now passed since its publication, so I will simply say that his collection is, indeed, a good starting point that it has sold so well that it will be found in most college and university libraries.

Comments in the Introduction on O'Connor's "The Violent Bear It Away, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and "A View of the Woods," and suggests that a division exists "between O'Connor's stance as a Catholic moralist, and the extraordinary thematic and narrative violence of her characteristic work."

Includes eleven essays, all reprints except for John Burt's:

Asals, Frederick. "The Double," Rpt. from "Flannery O'Connor: The Imagination of Extremity," by Frederick Asals, U of Georgia P, 1982.

Burt, John. "What You Can't Talk About."

Fitzgerald, Robert. "Everything That Rises Must Converge," Rpt. from "Introduction." "Everything That Rises Must Converge," by Flannery O'Connor. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965.

Fitzgerald, Robert. "The Countryside and the True Country," Rpt. from Sewanee Review 70.3 (1962).

Hawkes, John. "Flannery O'Connor's Devil," Rpt. from Sewanee Review 70.3 (1962).

Humphries, Jefferson. "Proust, Flannery O'Connor, and the Aesthetic of Violence," Rpt. from "The Otherness Within: Gnostic Readings in Marcel Proust, Flannery O'Connor, and Francois Villon," by Jefferson Humphries, Louisiana State UP, 1983.

Lawson, Lewis. "The Perfect Deformity: Wise Blood,"[Originally titled "Flannery O'Connor and the Grotesque: Wise Blood."] Rpt. from Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 17.2 (1965).

Oates, Joyce Carol. "The Visionary Art of Flannery O'Connor," Rpt. from Southern Humanities Review 7.3 (1973).

Schleifer, Ronald. "Rural Gothic," [Originally titled "Rural Gothic: The Stories of Flannery O'Connor"] Rpt. from Modern Fiction Studies 28.3 (1982).

Shloss, Carol. "Epiphany," Rpt. from "Flannery O'Connor's Dark Comedies," by Carol Shloss, Louisiana State UP, 1980.

Wood, Ralph C. "From Fashionable Tolerance to Unfashionable Redemption," [Originally titled "From Fashionable Tolerance to Unfashionable Redemption: A Reading of Flannery O'Connor's First and Last Stories"] Rpt. from The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin 7 (1978).

R. Neil Scott / Middle Tennessee State University

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book on O'Connor
In a beautifully written analysis of O'Connor's life and work, Balee displays considerable knowledge of the cultural and historical backgroundof O'Connor's world, and provides rare and revealing photographs.A mustread, and apparently the first biography of O'Connor. ... Read more

20. Flannery O'Connor: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies)
by Melissa Simpson
Hardcover: 152 Pages (2005-08-30)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$27.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313329990
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Despite her early death from lupus at 39, Flannery O'Connor has left a remarkable literary legacy. Written for high school students and undergraduates, this biography is a concise, accessible overview of O'Connor's life and achievements. Included are chapters on her youth and early literary career, the decline of her health and her return to her hometown, her maturation as an author, her identity as a Southern writer, and her final years. The volume also provides a timeline and closes with a bibliography of books, articles, and electronic sources for student research.

Despite her early death from lupus at 39, Flannery O'Connor has left a remarkable literary legacy. She emerged as one of America's most controversial, misunderstood, and promising young writers. Though she published only two novels, a collection of short stories, and various other prose works, she forcefully conveyed her Catholicism to a wide audience. She frequently created grotesque Southern characters, depicted violent situations, and wrote with acerbic wit. This biography discusses her fascinating life and literary career.

Written especially for high school students and undergraduates, this volume is a concise and accessible guide to O'Connor's achievements. Included are chapters on her youth and early works, the decline of her health and her return to her hometown, her maturation as an author, her identity as a Southern writer, and her final years. The volume also presents a timeline and bibliography of books, articles, and electronic sources for student research.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great idea for biographies
I had never read anything by O'Connor, though my wife had.I read this biography and like this concept for biographies.It was not so long yet gave the details a student would need.This isn't my type book, but since I am also from the South, I found her short life interesting.Maybe Ms. Simpson will do more books like this.Thanks ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats