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
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|File size:||705 KB|
About 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. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.
Sally Fitzgerald contributed to The Habit of Being from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Sally Fitzgerald
Part I: Up North and Getting Home
Part II: Day In and Day Out
Part III: "The Violent Bear It Away"
Part IV: The Last Year
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I liked this collection of Flannery's letters much better than I thought I would. I postponed reading it for six months. No matter how hard I have tried, I do not like her novels or stories. But her letters bring out the true character that she was. Especially in her earlier years when she wasn't so dragged down by lupus, her letters are funny and just a bit bordering on hysteria. Her depiction of Southerners of that day from her mother to their tennant farmers are apt and poignent. I laughed out loud regularly. She was clearly odd, even in comparision with some of her characters. But the way she lived her life, her obesssion with peacocks and how all of her friends insisted that none of the photographs taken of her did her justice makes her an interesting person who was so far out of touch with her contemporaries and even with her firends. I found myself thinking that not only would she have been fascinating to know and to discover her life perspective. I did become tired of the devotional aspects of her life, but I guess that her faith got her through her painful death. Odd books, odd character, but absolutely delightful letters were the hallmark. tedious this book would have been without the
Flannery O'Connor has captured my heart and my imagination since I first read her stories in the 1960s. An admittedly "lapsed Catholic" I read and reread her letters. I have, admittedly, received Holy Communion without having made my Easter Duty. I'm not sure that was her intention, however, her letters gave me a better understanding of the notion of Grace. After receiving the sacrament, I believed a sacredness accompanied me.