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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars books are about depth not length
Yes, this is a short book. It includes a transcription of Flannery O'Connors prayer journal from her time at the University of Iowa writer's school. But the quality of a book should never be judged by its length.

It should be judged by its texture and depth. And for this reason I consider the book to be essential. The prayers O'Connor has written create a...
Published 8 months ago by Clint Schnekloth

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54 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars only about 22 pages of actual content = overpriced
This book contains approximately 22 pages of actual content. The rest is taken up by introductory material, generous white space, and photographs of the pages of O'Connor's handwritten journals. Although it's enjoyable to see her original handwriting, and the ~22 pages of actual content is quite interesting, I feel this project is little more than an exercise in...
Published 8 months ago by Walter Purvis


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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars books are about depth not length, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
Yes, this is a short book. It includes a transcription of Flannery O'Connors prayer journal from her time at the University of Iowa writer's school. But the quality of a book should never be judged by its length.

It should be judged by its texture and depth. And for this reason I consider the book to be essential. The prayers O'Connor has written create a landscape for prayer utterly original in the Christian tradition, if also deeply embedded in it.

I am reading one prayer per night, sometimes two. They are leading me into new spiritual insights each time. I see myself in new ways through her prayers.

The book also includes a facsimile of the journal itself. It's really a pleasure to be able to see her hand-writing first hand, to imagine her as a young student writing each day in this journal.

I guarantee if you buy this book, when it arrives, you will do more than read it. You will cherish it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FLANNERY AT LARGE, November 17, 2013
By 
James E. O'Leary (Corpus Christi, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
What the prayer journal did for me was to drive me back to my Flannery library and start all over again. I now can read her with a new insight. In Brad Gooch's marvelous biography, I had learned how much her Catholic faith meant to her in that far off place in Iowa, where she was homesick and far from her Savannah roots, where she had, in the words of William Sessions, received from her southern and Catholic world, the view of a coherent universe. Gooch tells us that Flannery told a friend that she was able to go to Mass every single morning while at the Iowa Writers workshop. She went there to Mass for three years and never met a soul, she said, nor any of the priests, but it was not necessary. "As soon as I went in the door I was at home." What I didn't know was how willing she was to take a deep plunge into the depths of Catholicism. It is fitting that William Sessions was the one who brought this hidden journal to us. In the index of "The Habit of Being," the collected letters of Flannery O'Connor, Sessions turns up 28 times. He was a trusted friend and has turned out to be O'Connor's leading expert, among hundreds of scholarly admirers. I will bet you anything Flannery never thought her personal, private journal would see the light of day. I don't think she wore her religion on her sleeve and said one time she didn't even want to be known as a Catholic writer but hoped that she would just be known as a good writer, an honest writer and a real artist. I will bet you also that she would not like to be known as a mystic but she darned sure was. Like Dorothy Day (and they were very much aware of each other), she would have scoffed at the idea of being canonized a saint. Dorothy said she hoped that they wouldn't get to trivialize her that way and I can just see Flannery's writing the same thing in one of her letters. Flannery doesn't claim to know any more about the after life than any of the rest of us. She did say in one of her letters that if all you see is God in the beatific vision, then all you will want to see is God: the statement of a mystic. You would be disappointed in this journal if you expected it to be some spiritual advice or descriptions of visions or quotable nuggets. What I got from it was a wonderful insight into the human Flannery. Flannery struggled along with the rest of us with doubts, fears and pleas for mercy. The point is she never stopped struggling and wondering. All of us who have read and reread her works can only be grateful she never stopped.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading for any literary or Catholic aficionado, November 26, 2013
By 
J. Schutz (Alpharetta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
O'Connor's words, spirit, and even her struggle here are deeply Catholic. She speaks my own mind for me, saying words that I would have said if I had the gift that she had. Her form of prayer, her approach to it, her persistence in it, her discouragement with her own progress, all reveal a very quintessentially Catholic spirituality. I bought this book for my literary daughter, but it has now inspired me to undertake reading O'Connor's body of literature.

Requiescat in pace, Miss O'Connor.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a prayerbook, November 14, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
Publishers didn’t present her to the literary world with her prayers. In point of fact, these weren't even known until Bill Sessions found them among other papers in 2002. She had written them in a cheap spiral notebook in 1946, six years prior to the publication of her first novel, Wise Blood. At the time she was a student in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. However much she read from her Roman Catholic prayer book, hers are decidedly non-liturgical and intensely personal. She, like us, prayed she would manage to get something published. Some don’t even sound like prayers, yet they evidence a spirit of prayer. Like many of the biblical psalms, she addresses God and then slips into talking to herself.

Arguably, these prayers might never have been published now if she hadn’t produced a wealth of other very fine literature. But, then, those other works also express her strong desire for God, although not as explicitly as these.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graced Writing, November 22, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Kindle Edition)
I very much admire O'Connor's earnest desire for closer union with God so evident on each page.

Her entry on love, divine, human, and perverted, is a classic analysis of man's deepest need. This work was for me as she says Leon Bloy was for her, like an iceberg smashing her titanic in its inspirational value.
Thank you for making this accessible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest to God, December 11, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
A Prayer Journal is intensely personal, a loving attempt by this extraordinary genius to ask God to use her as his Christian "instrument" the same way she uses her typewriter as her "instrument." After reading the print section with its silent corrections of this "innocent speller," the facsimile in her handwriting reveals all the warmth and humanity of this fledgling writer with an immediacy that changes the experience of the book. In places humbling in its honesty, in other places laugh-out-loud funny as she confesses she is being "clever," this book is a gem, a wonderful addition to our understanding of the works of this amazing American original.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, December 2, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
This is an important book. Everyone should read it and if you are a good listener it should change your life.
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54 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars only about 22 pages of actual content = overpriced, November 12, 2013
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
This book contains approximately 22 pages of actual content. The rest is taken up by introductory material, generous white space, and photographs of the pages of O'Connor's handwritten journals. Although it's enjoyable to see her original handwriting, and the ~22 pages of actual content is quite interesting, I feel this project is little more than an exercise in profiteering. This small amount of material could have just as easily been posted online for free. Unless you're unwaveringly committed to owning everything O'Connor's ever written, you should probably see if this is available from your local library -- you can read the entire book in less than 30 minutes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just wished it was longer..., January 26, 2014
By 
patricia oetting (SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
I loved hearing,....no, rather feeling what she was thinking. I am most interested in people's private prayer journals . I think that we need to share more of them. Particularly someone we 'know' from various writings in a different mode. Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good things come in small packages., January 3, 2014
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This review is from: A Prayer Journal (Hardcover)
Much shorter than I thought it would be, but often good things come in small packages. Hard to believe Ms. O'Connor was so young when she wrote this. I found it to be thought provoking and insightful as to the human condition. I would definitely recommend it.
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A Prayer Journal
A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor (Hardcover - November 12, 2013)
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