Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was born Mary Flannery O’Connor in Savannah, Georgia. She became best known for her short stories, morally driven narratives populated with flawed characters sometimes described as grotesque.

There was nothing she ever wanted to do other than write. Even while stricken with lupus, she wrote every day, producing a body of work that included two novels and more than thirty short stories.

Although she lived a somewhat sheltered life, O’Connor’s work depicted subtleties of human behavior with razor precision. Her dark humor wasn’t appreciated by all — its religious overtones (she was a devout Catholic) were highly provocative. She was also an avid book reviewer, penning more than one hundred reviews for various publications.

Today, her work is still much discussed because of its detail, symbolism and imagery. Her work is categorized as “Southern Gothic,” and relies heavily on regional themes. O’Connor famously said: “Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.”

A good man is hard to find and other stories by Flannery O'Connor

You may also like: Flannery O’Connor on the Grotesque in Fiction

Later in life, O’Connor was asked why she wrote, and her answer was “Because I’m good at it.” It wasn’t a statement of ego, but one of fact. She was deeply immersed in the craft, writing and rewriting.

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