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Flannery O’Connor Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Wise Blood (1949) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Violent Bear It Away (1960) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Artificial Nigger (1955) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mystery and Manners (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Complete Stories (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Flannery O'Connor (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Habit of Being (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925, and was Regina Cline and Edward Francis O’Connor’s (who worked as a real estate agent) only kid. Her parents come from two of the oldest Catholic families in the state of Georgia. Her education started in the parochial schools in Savannah, and she was both an avid artist and reader.

O’Connor wrote essays, two novels, and short stories. She is one of the great fiction writers to come from America, and was one of the biggest apologists for Roman Catholicism during the twentieth century.

She was in a news film when she was only six that featured her and her chicken that could walk backwards. She felt that this was the high point in her life, and that everything was downhill after that. In the year 1940, her family moved off to Milledgeville, Georgia so that they could live on Andalusia Farm (which has since been turned into a museum that is dedicated to her work).

Here, she nurtured and raised about a hundred peafowl, as she had a fascination with any and every kind of bird that she could get her mitts on. She even wrote an essay (which was called “King of the Birds”) which described the peacocks she had.

O’Connor went to Peabody High School, and worked there as the art editor for the school’s paper, and it was from here that she graduated from high school in the year 1942. After this, she attended Georgia State College for Women and graduated in the year 1945 and got a social sciences degree. Flannery took many English courses while go here. Her classmates at the time remember that she had some obvious talents but was quite shy. While at the school, she produced quite a bit of cartoons for the student paper.

In 1946, she got accepted into University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a school that she originally went to study journalism. During O’Connor’s time her, she would meet some important critics or writers that lectured or taught for the program.

She would get her MA from University of Iowa in the year 1947. Her master’s thesis was a short story collection titled “The Geranium” and was named after the first story she ever had published in the year 1946. The stories in the collection do not really show any of the things that would show up in the later and mature work that she would produce later in her writing career.

Summer of 1948, she kept on working on her novel, “Wise Blood” at a placed called Yaddo (which is located in New York), and was able to finish many short stories.

Stories written by O’Connor usually feature characters that are flawed morally speaking, and race plays a small part. The work is usually grotesque, and have some disturbing elements. O’Connor’s writing shows her Roman Catholic faith. Her work shows a brilliant understanding of the nuance in human behavior, despite leading a secluded life.

She died at the age of 39 in Milledgeville, Georgia on August 3, 1964. Her father died in the year 1941, after being diagnosed with lupus in the year 1937. She was only fifteen at the time her father died, and his dying was something that devastated her. This is also what Flannery was diagnosed with in the year 1950 and later died of. This interrupted a quite productive period in her writing career.

She lived seven years longer than it was expected she would with the disease. Despite the debilitating effect that the steroids had on her, she was still active as she kept up a daily writing ritual and showed up to lectures to read her work out loud.

She won a National Book Award for Fiction posthumously in the year 1972 for her “Complete Stories” collection.

“Wise Blood” is the first novel and was released in the year 1952. Hazel Motes is a twenty-two year old guy that is caught up in the unceasing fight against his own desperate and innate faith. He falls under the sway of a supposed blind street preacher called Asa Hawkes, and Lily Sabbath (degenerate daughter, age fifteen).

In a turn of irony, to prove his own non-faith, Hazel forms The God Without Christ Church. It is to show that he is a greater cynic than Hawkes is. He is bested in his attempt to shed God. He meets a guy named Enoch Emery, who is a young male that takes Hazel to the mummified remains of a holy child. His crazy maneuvers are a display of Hazel’s own existential struggles.

Fans of the novel like the way that Flannery O’Connor is able to understand everything about the people she writes about. How they talk and what they are incapable of and do not know. The book is an amazing look at things like redemption, sin, and heresy. In other authors’ hands, this would have been a lesser story; only Flannery O’Connor herself could have told the story as it is.

“The Violent Bear It Away” is the second novel and was released in the year 1960. Francis Marion Tarwater (who is an orphan), a schoolteacher called Rayber, and his cousins go against the prophecy of their deceased uncle. It said that Tarwater would one day be a prophet, and baptize Bishop (who is the young son of Rayber).

Some struggles come after that. Tarwater starts to fight against his own innate faith, and those voices that call to him to start being the prophet his uncle believed he would be. All the while, Rayber tries pushing him into a much more reasonable and modern world. Both struggle with their dead family members legacies, and claim Bishop’s soul.

Fans of the novel found Flannery to be quite ruthless in her telling of this story. Readers are still shaking and quaking in fear, even after finishing reading the book. Some liked the way the book starts out strong, gives a lot of character development, not to mention the fact that the characters actually talk in a realistic way and then to top it off, there is one shocker of an ending. Some are glad they finally found this author’s incredible work, and wish they had found it sooner.

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