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Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1969
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“Flannery O'Connor ranks with Mark Twain and Scott Fitzgerald among our finest prose stylists. Her epigrams alone are worth the price of the book . . . which should be read by every writer and would-be writer and lover of writing.” ―John Leonard, The New York Times
“[O'Connor] was not just the best 'woman writer' of [her] time and place; she expressed something secret about America, called 'the South,' with that transcendent gift for expressing the real spirit of a culture that is conveyed by those writers . . . who become nothing but what they see. Completeness is one word for it: relentlessness [and] unsparingness would be others. She was a genius.” ―Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review
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 history. Her letters were published 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. A devout Catholic, she lived most of her adult life on her family's ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia, where she raised peacocks and wrote.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lots of delicious gems in here for anyone who wants to see the other side of Flannery O'Connor's work. In a way it is a contradiction that this book was published at all, as the author felt that the obsessions writers have about how other writers work, what other writers think about writing, was pointless. She believed that all was contained in the stories themselves. Are we going to take her advice?
Flannery O'Connor's "Mystery and Manners" is, to me, an indispensable text: it has acted as my writing mentor for several years. As a collection of her essays, mostly about some aspect of writing, literature, culture, or religion (the oddball here is a humorous essay describing O'Connor's traumatic experience raising peacocks), "Mystery and Manners" provides a look into the mind and purpose of a great Southern writer. I recommend that those interested in O'Connor's works read this book before diving into "Wise Blood" or "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Without a clear understanding of O'Connor's intentions, first time readers may feel as if they are being sucked into a black whirlpool by the intensity of some of her works. These essays can help leviate that shock.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you read strictly for pleasure, this will give it to you. If you are a writer, you have no business not reading this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Middlemarch
This compilation of one of the greatest Christian writers of the twentieth century. Themes that run through the essay include: grace in the grotesque, manners portraying mystery,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric
I have been a fan of her short stories for a while, but never had a complete picture of FO's vision and impetus for writing quality literature. Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Price
She's the best in the business. Or was. But if I were to guess I'd say most all readers of this post will no that already. As for the book. Lives up to her rep. Worth reading.Published 8 months ago by Guy Carlos
This book contains literary essays by the southern belle writer Flannery O'Connor. It is a wonderful mix of a variety of essays that delight and inform the reader! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dr. Kenneth R. Cooper
This is one of the most influential books on art that I have read. It has shaped many aspects of my thinking on the arts. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mark Beuving
Wonderful section on why schools need to teach literary analysis! Book better than expected!Published 9 months ago by Caley Bradicich
Fabulous essays on writing, spirituality, the American South, and peacocks.Published 9 months ago by Reagan Dregge