Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the National Book Award
The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death—is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Also included is an introduction by O'Connor's longtime editor and friend, Robert Giroux.
"What we lost when she died is bitter. What we have is astonishing: the stories burn brighter than ever, and strike deeper." --Walter Clemons, Newsweek
"OConnors plainspoken, blunt, comic-cartoonish, and flagrantly melodramatic short stories . . . were not refined New Yorker
stories of the era in which nothing happens except inside characters minds, but stories in which something happens of irreversible magnitude, often death by violent means." —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
"What we lost when she died is bitter. What we have is astonishing: the stories burn brighter than ever, and strike deeper." —Walter Clemons, Newsweek
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. OConnor 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 contests 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. OConnor 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 familys ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Robert Giroux
The Heart of the Park
A Stroke of Good Fortune
Enoch and the Gorilla
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
A Late Encounter with the Enemy
The Life You Save May Be Your Own
A Circle in the Fire
The Displaced Person
A Temple of the Holy Ghost
The Artificial Nigger
Good Country People
You Can't Be Any Poorer Than Dead
A View of the Woods
The Enduring Chill
The Comforts of Home
Everything That Rises Must Converge
The Partridge Festival
The Lame Shall Enter First
Why Do the Heathen Rage?