Authors We Love: Mary Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor (Author of A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other ...

Flannery O ‘Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia Women’s College and the University of Iowa. She is a Catholic American novelist, short story writer, and critic. O ‘Connor has written two novels, 32 short stories, and numerous book and film reviews. O ‘Connor is a southern writer whose works have a southern Gothic style and rely heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. O ‘Connor’s work also reflects her Roman Catholic beliefs and often examines questions of morality and ethics. O ‘Connor’s “The Complete Stories” won the National Book Award in 1972, posthumously, and was hailed by online readers as “one of the best American National Book Awards of all time.” Flannery O’Connor is said to have taught her favorite dwarf chicken to walk backwards when she was five years old. The stunt caught the attention of Pathe Studios, and a cameraman from the North was sent to O ‘Connor’s backyard in Savannah, Georgia, to record the stunt. O ‘Connor never saw the funny film, although it was shown in many American cinemas in 1932.

By The time she wrote “The King of The Birds” in 1961, O ‘Connor was a literary and artistic celebrity with a cult following. She made her name by publishing two novels — “Wise Blood” and “The Violent Bear It Away” and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Newsweek magazine featured a photograph of O ‘Connor’s pre-World War II home in Milledgeville, GA. Harper’s Bazaar has a rather glamorous portrait of O ‘Connor while her work has also been featured in Vogue. In her work, O ‘Connor depicted the American South. Set mostly in the rural South, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” features at least four main characters — a widowed, conservative old lady and her unsociable daughter — living on a farm. These characters probably have something in common with O ‘Connor and her mother. As time went on, people began to notice that O ‘Connor herself was a devout Roman Catholic, and that her novels seemed to have something to do with religion. In the writings of a collection of essays and a collection of letters published after her death, O ‘Connor not only makes clear her own religious beliefs and the crucial role they play in her work, but also makes detailed interpretations of some of her own novels.

-Coreen C.

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