Flannery O'Connor

Mary Flannery O'Connor, (March 25, 1925 August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short-story writer and essayist.

An important voice in American literature, O'Connor wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. O'Connor's writing also reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics.


Regarding her emphasis of the grotesque, O'Connor 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." Her texts usually take place in the South and revolve around morally flawed characters, while the issue of race often appears in the background. One of her trademarks is blunt foreshadowing, giving a reader an idea of what will happen far before it happens. Most of her works feature disturbing elements, though she did not like to be characterized as cynical. "I am tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man brutal and sarcastic," she writes. "The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism... when I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror."

 

From 1956 through 1964, O'Connor wrote more than one hundred book reviews for two Catholic diocesan newspapers in Georgia: The Bulletin, and The Southern Cross. According to fellow reviewer Joe Zuber, the wide range of books O'Connor chose to review demonstrated that she was profoundly intellectual. Her reviews consistently confront theological and ethical themes in books written by the most serious and demanding theologians of her time. Professor of English, Carter Martin, an authority on O'Connor's writings, notes simply that her "book reviews are at one with her religious life".

 

From www.wikipedia.org

 

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