The Violent Bear It Away
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The Violent Bear It Away

3.6 8
by Flannery O'Connor
     
 

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A brilliant, innovative novel, acutely alert to where the sacred lives—and where it does not

First published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is a landmark in American literature—a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Connor's work.
In this, O'Connor's second

Overview

A brilliant, innovative novel, acutely alert to where the sacred lives—and where it does not

First published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is a landmark in American literature—a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Connor's work.
In this, O'Connor's second novel, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousin, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle that Tarwater will become a prophet and baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues, as 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 relative and lay claim to Bishop's soul. All this is observed by O'Connor with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I am sure her books will live on and on in American Literature” —Elizabeth Bishop

“There is very little contemporary fiction which touches the level of Flannery O'Connor at her best.” —Alan Pryce-Jones, New York Herald Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374530877
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
06/12/2007
Series:
FSG Classics Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
127,822
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.72(d)
Lexile:
980L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O'Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest's 60-year history. Her essays were published in Mystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O'Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists' colony in upstate New York. A devout Catholic, she lived most of her life on a farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she raised peacocks and wrote.

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The Violent Bear It Away 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is about the way people (children and adults) are trying to cope with religious fanaticism. Above all it shows how the credulity of children is exploited by parents and other family members for the sake of their own fanatic ideas. The main characters are Tarwater, a fourteen year old boy, who lives with his great-uncle in a cottage in the woods. There is Rayber, the schoolteacher, who's Tarwater's uncle. Bishop, the severely mentally disabled son of Rayber, is one of the most touching characters of the novel. When the great-uncle dies of old age at the breakfast table, the boy puts the cottage on fire and runs off. After a while he decides to go to his uncle Rayber who tries to win the friendship of his nephew. Though the intrigue is fairly simple it's sometimes a tragedy so dense that - at certain moments - it's almost unbearable to read further. It leaves the reader almost with a feeling that all the misery of the world has landed upon his shoulders. Only after a few moments he can fool himself by saying that it's only fiction, so why worry
Guest More than 1 year ago
O'Connor's grasp of faith and the mystical in modern man is amazing. Vivid setting and character, riveting unique style, and (most importantly) a message more universal and compelling for modern man than any other I have read. Some books seek to tell some truth about our society, some seek to explain a human action, some seek to describe that philosophy which most completely fufils the truth. O'Connor goes beyond all of these in her masterpiece. She seeks (very succesfully) to describe the two great pitfalls which the modern man who endeavors to find the greatest truth and pursue it is brought down by. And, of course, she finds and sets out before the reader the great truth in its pure form. Once you read the book, you just can't argue with her. Greatest book ever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only book that begins to come close to this is The Waves, by Virginia Woolf. O'Connor employs all of her best talent in this one. It only took me a day to read and I'm sure it won't take you long, either.
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