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Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories Paperback – January 1, 1965


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (January 1, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374504644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374504649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The current volume of posthumous stories is the work of a master, a writer's writer-- but a reader's too-- an incomparable craftsman who wrote, let it be said, some of the finest stories in our language."--Newsweek

"All in all they comprise the best collection of shorter fiction to have been published in America during the past twenty years."--Theodore Solotaroff, Book Week

"When I read Flannery O'Connor, I do not think of Hemingway, or Katherine Anne Porter, or Sartre, but rather of someone like Sophocles. What more can you say for a writer? I write her name with honor, for all the truth and all the craft with which she shows man's fall and his dishonor."--Thomas Merton

About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published in Mystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.

More About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925, the only child of Catholic parents. In 1945 she enrolled at the Georgia State College for Women. After earning her degree she continued her studies on the University of Iowa's writing program, and her first published story, 'The Geranium', was written while she was still a student. Her writing is best-known for its explorations of religious themes and southern racial issues, and for combining the comic with the tragic. After university, she moved to New York where she continued to write. In 1952 she learned that she was dying of lupus, a disease which had afflicted her father. For the rest of her life, she and her mother lived on the family dairy farm, Andalusia, outside Millidgeville, Georgia. For pleasure she raised peacocks, pheasants, swans, geese, chickens and Muscovy ducks. She was a good amateur painter. She died in the summer of 1964.

Customer Reviews

Her style of writing is clear.
David Lupo
Kurt Vonnegut considers Flannery O'Connor the world's best short story author and I can easily see why.
AMC
Individually, however, the stories really are that good.
D. Cloyce Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Brian Carpenter on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
My copy of _Everything That Rises Must Converge_ has been shouting at me from high up on my bookshelf for several years now. I don't know when I picked up this book; in the dark ages, I suppose, back when I appreciated no book more than the Bible, and most books less than Louis L'Amour's _Sackett's Land_. But my book keeps yelling. "Hey ...!" it says. "I'm getting booklice up here! What are you reading that [book] for ...?"--Don't be too alarmed. All of O'Connor's books shout at readers that way.
Do you want to know something, though? The book has a pretty good reason to shout. Although it's been months since I finally read the collection, it hasn't quieted down. Moreover, I've grown appreciative of its company.
_Everything that Rises..._ was released after O'Connor's death. The hallmark story leads a parade of nine others, a veritable Mardi-Gras of intellectuals, petulants, vindictives, intolerants, and misconceivers, all down a path toward redemption, and thankfully, all with their shirts _on_ (except for that one guy with the tattoo, of course).
"Theology--ugh. Stop saying 'redemption'," some readers holler. Fortunately, O'Connor's theology is well-masked. In fact, I had to read her biography, look at her essays, and dig with a backhoe before I located any theology. But I found it. It was hiding there in plain sight, and once I saw it, I wondered that I had ever missed it. I had trouble locating her theology because O'Connor has a habit of flaying peoples' minds to reveal their darker side. And when you flay somebody's mind, well, to quote Lady Macbeth, "Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" Wait now--before you shout "Violence--ugh. Stop saying 'flay'," I need to tell you about her work.
O'Connor uses no words of mystery.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. DEMILLE on July 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
What's the difference between a good and bad story? One will cause you to ponder its message long after you read it while the other will do nothing more than fill time. I did my share of pondering after reading each of Flannery's stories in this collection.
The stories, for the most part, take place in the rural South, where we hear the bleating of sheep, the snorting of pigs, and the mooing of cows. There is a narrow, but effective, variety of characters portrayed, from landowner to squatter, from black to white. The stories simmer with a religious flavor, and those who are religious seem to be either haughty and self-righteous or hopelessly naive. The religious bigots think their medicine is best and should be taken by everyone, while they themselves are really the ones "in need of a physician." The intellectuals weave throughout a story or two, and like some of the religious ones, they treat those around them with disdain and downright viciousness. The characters seldom remain unscathed, however. Divine justice usually swoops down and executes revenge upon them, either directly or indirectly. This revenge often tends toward the grotesque, and I often finished a story with my jaw hanging open. Now I can't wait to digest her complete collection.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on February 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
For her first collection of stories ("A Good Man Is Hard to Find"), O'Connor gathered an assortment that had been previously published in magazines; the result was a fascinating, but unsystematic, potpourri of experimentation and originality. As she prepared the stories for "Everything That Rise Must Converge," however, she instead developed each selection under a thematic framework. (Only the last two stories, which were literally rushed to completion as she lay on her deathbed, seem to stand a bit apart.) The collection as a whole, even more than her previous fiction, emphasizes the absurdities and monstrosities of everyday life and the tension between the demands of the self and the mystery of the divine presence.

One of O'Connor's primary mentors for her approach to fiction was, surprisingly, James Joyce (and, specifically, "Dubliners"), and his influence is nowhere more obvious than in this book. In one story ("The Enduring Chill"), she pokes fun at Joyce's worldview in an exchange between an artist and a priest. She was surely alienated by Joyce's un-Catholic sentiments, but she acknowledged his influence in her essay "The Nature and Aim of Fiction": "The major difference between the novel as written in the eighteenth century and the novel as we usually find it today is the disappearance from it of the author. . . . By the time we get to James Joyce, the author is nowhere to be found in the book. The reader is on his own, floundering around in the thoughts of various unsavory characters."

"Unsavory characters" are, without doubt, O'Connor's specialty. Yet, is O'Connor effectively able to remove herself from her narratives? Do the stories in this collection succeed, as she intended, as a thematically linked sequence?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
I nearly fell out of my chair when I began reading this collection. I then read it cover-to-cover in a single sitting. It is difficult to describe O'Connor's style, simply because it is so infinitely unique. "Visceral" is a start, but it falsely suggests an explicit rendering of detail and emotion. Rather, the stories are written with an odd, and even ethereal, detachment. Each story surprises and frightens you; and, as you finish one, you find that you must read the next. It is a strange spell. The characters seem so exaggerated, yet palpable and familiar. I do wonder why Flannery O'Connor isn't read more. Her writing is so taut and finely tuned; her stories disturbing, haunting, and ineffably sad.
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