From the Back Cover
"Shloss helps us to understand O'Connor's greatest talents: mastery of language, wry humor, and ultimate concern about the human condition." -- Choice
"Brilliantly argued, solidly documented.... [this book] reaffirms the value of O'Connor's art and freshly asserts O'Connor's preeminence as a secular moralist.... Shloss makes O'Connor available to new readers and to old, especially those estranged by the inherent paradoxes of O'Connor's achievement." -- Virginia Quarterly Review
"A scholarly, sophisticated work of literary criticism which explores the anagogical dimensions of O'Connor's art." -- Canadian Review of American Studies
In Flannery O'Connor's Dark Comedies, Carol Shloss moves away from biographical, thematic, and theological approaches to O'Connor and instead focuses on her successes and failures as a rhetorician.
This valuable study of O'Connor's style employs reader-response theory to dissect the author's use of hyperbole, distortion, allusion, analogy, the dramatization of extreme religious experience, the manipulation of judgment through narrative voice, and direct address to the reader.
Shloss aims to return Flannery O'Connor to her readers on fathomable terms, to offer a rhetorical, rather than theological, perspective from which to understand the country preachers, square-jawed farm wives, wise rubes, foolish intellectuals, huckster Bible salesmen, killers, and other "good country people" who populate O'Connor's fiction.
About the Author
Carol Shloss is a consulting professor in English at Stanford University.