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The Complete Stories (FSG Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1971
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
O'Connor, a delicate Southern Catholic who lived a third of her life ravaged by lupus, was certainly acquainted with pain. Her stories reveal this much. Many readers and reviewers may wonder if she doesn't take a bit of artistic license with her definition of "grace," though. Considering her religious ideologies (which aren't hard to figure out, even after reading just one of these deliciously dark little tales), her unsubtle brutality isn't so unexpected. Look God directly in the face, the Bible says, and it completely and utterly destroys you.
It's safe to say that even if her characters don't always get an unobstructed view of their Creator, they all at least catch a glimpse. O'Connor is not shy about her beliefs, and in fact, her unswerving social sensibilities are part of what make her writing so delectable. Read closely, because every single detail is important and potent. And just like the Bible she adheres to so fervently, the endings to her stories are forecasted unapologetically by every word that comes before them.
This in no way ruins the power of those conclusions. Read a hundred interviews with a hundred writers, and I guarantee you that many of them will mention, as inspiration, "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Sit down for twenty minutes with the hilarious and heart-breaking "River," and ask yourself if your foreknowledge didn't rob the final lines of their shuddering ferocity. Visit "A Displaced Person," meet "Enoch and the Gorilla," stay for awhile with "Greenleaf," and take a good long look at "A View of the Woods.Read more ›
O'Connor had the uncanny gift to describe people, surroundings and life with astonishingly spare prose. Her genius was that she could reveal the mystery and manners in us all. Of particular note are "Revelation" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find." You must read this collection, and I promise that her stories will speak to you for years to come.
"Then she recognized the feeling again, a little roll. It was if it were not her stomach. It was if it were out nowhere in nothing, out nowhere, resting and waiting, with plenty of time."
"The sherrif's brain worked instantly like a calculating machine. As he scrutinized the scene, further insights were flashed to him. He was accustomed to enter upon scenes that were not as bad as he had hoped to find them, but this one met his expectations."
"Mr. Paradise's head appeared from time to time on the surface of the water. Finally, far downstream, the old man rose like some ancient water monster and stood empty-handed, staring with his dull eyes as far down the river as he could see."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like bed these stories and I can't believe I hadn't read them before. Wonderfully written, dark and morose. Loved them.Published 5 hours ago by Rachel Weber
Was looking forward to reading, but a bit slow and stories seem similar. But I am glad I bought and read it. Stories get better as you go on.Published 2 days ago by crcboston
Named our child Flannery in honor of the author. Bought this book when she was born as a gift. The cover art is beautiful.Published 10 days ago by Kara Prewett
Flannery O'Connor is such a great writer. After reading this book, it's no wonder why John Kennedy Toole so admired her.Published 25 days ago by Rogelio A. Campos Jr.
As essential as Faulkner or Welty. She is a master storyteller, and the proof is here.Published 29 days ago by Bob Justman
Flannery O'Connor is the superlative in short stories. She has a lot to say about the Southern American and Christian/evangelical cultures that needs to be said. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer