The homage paid to Flannery O'Connor's stunning short stories and novels by scholars and writers is nothing short of extraordinary and has earned her the reputation of a master of the literary form. Her stories are often identified with Georgia settings of religious imagery, bizarre characters, and violent episodes. Since her death of a hereditary illness in 1964, O'Connor's works have inspired dozens of book-length studies, two hundred theses and dissertations, thousands of articles, and compilations of essays.
During her lifetime, O'Connor won three O. Henry awards for short fiction, received prestigious grants and fellowships from the National Instititute of Arts and Letters, the Kenyon Review, and the Ford Foundation, and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Smith and St. Mary's colleges. In death her honors have continued with a National Book Award (for her collected stories) and a National Book Critics Circle award (for her collected letters).
O'Connor believed good writing begins with an "experience, not an abstraction," and her writing reflects this by being firmly rooted in Middle Georgia, where her family had lived since before the Civil War. A self-described Christian realist, O'Connor wrote, "The only thing that keeps me from being a regional writer is being a Catholic and the only thing that keeps me from being a Catholic writer (in the narrow sense) is being a Southerner."
Photo courtesy of the Flannery O'Connor Collection, Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College & State University.
The following titles may be found in the Hall of Fame Library:
Wise Blood. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1952.
Wise Blood. London: Spearman, 1955.
A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Other Stories. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955.
The Artificial Nigger and Other Tales. London: Neville Spearman, 1957.
The Violent Bear It Away. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1960.
Exkursionen: Erzählungen unserer Zeit. München: C. Hanser, 1964.
Everything That Rises Must Converge. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965.
Everything That Rises Must Converge. London: Faber & Faber, 1965.
En god mand er svaer at finde. Copenhagen: Grafisk Forlag, 1965.
O'Connor, Flannery with Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, eds. Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. London: Faber & Faber, 1972.
O'Connor, Flannery with S. Fitzgerald, ed. The Habit of Being: Letters. Farrar, Straus, 1979.
Higher Education .Winston-Salem. N. Car.: Palaemon, 1980.
Home of the Brave. Albondocani Press, N.Y., 1981.
O'Connor, Flannery and compiled by Leo J. Zuber with Carter W. Martin, ed. The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1983.
Three by Flannery O'Connor . New American Library, 1983.
The Correspondence of Flannery O'Connor and the Brainard Cheneys. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.
Conversations with Flannery O'Connor . Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1987.
Collected Works. New York: Library of America, 1988.
In Celebration of Genius . Athens, Ga.: Hill Street Press, 2000.
The Ina Dillard Russell Library at the Georgia College & State University houses O'Connor's manuscripts, private library, and personal correspondence.
Born: March 25, 1925
Died: August 3, 1964