Archives For Flannery O’Connor



This week marked the anniversary of the death of Flannery O’Connor (3 August 1964), one of the greatest fiction writers of the twentieth century.

To mark the occasion, we offer the following introductory reading guide to her work.

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.

*** Don’t miss these rare clips of
Flannery O’Connor reading her work 


1) The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connnor

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Flannery O’Connor, John O’Donohue, Rob Bell , MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

Flannery O’Connor

*** $2.99 ***



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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Marilynne Robinson, Flannery O’Connor, Bonhoeffer, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


Gilead: A Novel

Marilynne Robinson

*** $4.99***

Other books by Marilynne Robinson that are also on sale… 




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This wonderful recording surfaced online this week…

Stephen Colbert reading Flannery O’Connor’s short story “The Enduring Chill”

This story can be found in:

The Complete Stories
Flannery O’Connor

Paperback: FSG Books, 1971
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


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Read an excerpt from the newly released

A Prayer Journal

Flannery O’Connor

Hardback: FSG Books, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Listen to rare audio of Flannery O’Connor reading her work!!!!
(Includes the story “A Good Man is hard to Find”…)


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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

> > > >
Next Book

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women
By Sarah Bessey

Read a review from Religion News  Service

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Jonathan Rogers - Terrible Speed of MercyFinding Redemption

A Review of

The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of Flannery O’Connor

Jonathan Rogers

Paperback: Thomas Nelson, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Mary Bowling


It would seem that a biography about as spiritual a person as Flannery O’Connor must necessarily be a spiritual one. However, to the casual reader of O’Connor’s works, the circumstances of her life and spirituality are far from expected. How the gritty, filthy, mulish characters could issue forth from the frail, high-bred and deeply Catholic O’Connor is a question that adds a deeper level of interest to stories that already tend to hit the reader sideways.


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I’m intrigued by this novel, which will be out next week in paperback, perhaps you will be too?
If anyone has read it (the hardback came out last year) use the comments to let us know what you thought…

A Good, Hard Look: A Novel of Flannery O’Connor.

Ann Napolitano.

Paperback: Penguin Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

On a similar note…
Have you heard the rare recordings of Flannery O’Connor reading from her work?

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Flannery O'Connor - Listen to Rare Recordings!I know many of our readers here are big fans of Flannery O’Connor…

Thus, it is with great delight that I share here these rare recordings of her reading her work!

“A Good Man is Hard to Find”
“In April of 1959–five years before her death at the age of 39 from lupus–O’Connor ventured away from her secluded family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, to give a reading at Vanderbilt University. She read one of her most famous and unsettling stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” The audio, accessible below, is one of two known recordings of the author reading that story.

Essay: “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction”
[ Read the text of this essay here… ]

“Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one. To be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man, and in the South the general conception of man is still, in the main, theological. That is a large statement, and it is dangerous to make it, for almost anything you say about Southern belief can be denied in the next breath with equal propriety. But approaching the subject from the standpoint of the writer, I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted. The Southerner, who isn’t convinced of it, is very much afraid that he may have been formed in the image and likeness of God. Ghosts can be very fierce and instructive. They cast strange shadows, particularly in our literature. In any case, it is when the freak can be sensed as a figure for our essential displacement that he attains some depth in literature.”


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Far Beyond the House and Chicken Yard

A Review of
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.
by Brad Gooch.

By Chris Smith.


Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.
Brad Gooch.

Hardcover: Little, Brown and Co., 2009.
Buy now from:
[ Doulos Christou Books $24 ] [ Amazon ]


A recent viral internet post has declared Flannery O’Connor among its list of “Stuff Christian Hipsters Like.”  While I can understand why such Christian Hipsters would be attracted to her dark, grotesque stories of sin and redemption, I am more convinced than ever – after reading Flannery, Brad Gooch’s authoritative new biography – that there is little in Flannery herself that such trendy folks would find “hip.”  A sheltered, southern woman from an aristocratic family, with “medieval” sensibilities and a cultural racism (334) befitting her situation in mid-twentieth century Georgia, she hardly fits the bill.  Gooch, however, spins an engaging narrative that is sure to draw in all its readers –   hipsters or not.

            The product of Gooch’s lifelong “infatuation” with Ms. O’Connor’s work and five years of research and writing, Flannery contradicts O’Connor’s opinion that a compelling biography of her life would never be written “because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.”  Gooch’s framework is the standard story of O’Connor’s life, developed largely from her autobiography-in-letters, The Habit of Being. Continue Reading…