Flannery O'Connor | Books | The GuardianFlannery O'Connor is best remembered for her potent fictions, and to a lesser extent for her unfortunate life she eked out the last decade and a half of her life in relative solitude with her mother, refashioning her childhood home into a makeshift bird sanctuary before dying of lupus at the unripe age of What she isn't primarily remembered for are her cartoons, although this may change with the publication of a collection of her early drawings later this year. The drawings that comprise the majority of Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons are taken from her time as a high school student at Peabody and then an undergraduate at Georgia State, and would have been published in journals alongside news stories relating to the life of the school and college itself. Cut from linoleum with oil-based ink applied to the ridges, the drawings are rudimentary but charming, a stripped down version of what Marjane Satrapi did in Persepolis. What's clear, though, is the perspective of the outsider, which O'Connor refined in her debut novel Wise Blood and stories such as A Good Man is Hard to Find A bespectacled wallflower watches a dance and thinks to herself, "Well, I can always be a PhD"; an audience member snipes to her friend, "Wake me up when it's time to clap! Even though the cartoons are largely comic, and lack the richness of detail that a short story affords, it would be wrong to dismiss them as juvenilia. O'Connor seriously considered a career as a cartoonist, according to her biographer Brad Gooch , submitting cartoons to the New Yorker and drawing "a lot of encouragin' rejection slips" along the way and winning comparisons with James Thurber whose book My World and Welcome to It made him a household name in the US in the 40s and George Price O'Connor's friend Robert Fitzgerald said they shared "an energy and angularity".
Flannery O'Connor Reads 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find' [mirror]
Flannery O’Connor: A Reading Primer
She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a sardonic Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and supposedly grotesque characters, often in violent situations. The unsentimental acceptance or rejection of the limitations or imperfection or difference of these characters whether attributed to disability, race, crime, religion or sanity typically underpins the drama. Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic religion and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the U. National Book Award for Fiction and has been the subject of enduring praise. O'Connor and her family moved to Milledgeville, Georgia , in to live on Andalusia Farm,  which is now a museum dedicated to O'Connor's work.
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I'd venture a guess that it's a short story problem. Short stories aren't the easiest. Getting into a collection of stories takes a certain level of commitment and flexibility at the same time. She could write a character who you hated, but who felt real, and you still had some sympathy for. Often these characters were damaged or in bad situations themselves, and that helped when they did something awful. Unlikable characters are hard to pull off even today. Her response?
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