Meaning of O'CONNOR, FLANNERY in English


born March 25, 1925, Savannah, Ga., U.S. died Aug. 3, 1964, Milledgeville, Ga. in full Mary Flannery O'Connor American novelist and short-story writer whose works, usually set in the rural South and often treating of human alienation, are concerned with the relationship between the individual and God. O'Connor grew up in her native Georgia and attended schools in Savannah and Milledgeville. After graduating from Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College), she studied creative writing at the University of Iowa. Her first published work, a short story, appeared in Accent in 1946. Her first novel, Wise Blood (1952), explored, in O'Connor's own words, the religious consciousness without a religion. The work combines the keen ear for common speech, caustic religious imagination, and flair for the absurd that were to characterize her subsequent work. With the publication of further short stories, first collected in A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and Other Stories (1955), she came to be regarded as a master of the form. Her other works of fiction are a novel, The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and the short-story collection Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965). A collection of occasional prose pieces, Mystery and Manners, appeared in 1969. The Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1971, contained several stories that had not previously appeared in book form. Disabled for more than a decade by lupus erythematosus, which eventually proved fatal, O'Connor lived modestly, writing and raising peafowl on her mother's ancestral farm at Milledgeville. The posthumous publication of her letters, under the title The Habit of Being (1979), provided valuable insight into the life and mind of a writer whose works defy conventional categorization. Additional reading Suzanne Morrow Paulson, Flannery O'Connor: A Study of the Short Fiction (1988), includes biographical information. Further analyses of O'Connor's work include Melvin J. Friedman and Beverly Lyon Clark (eds.), Critical Essays on Flannery O'Connor (1985); and Sura P. Rath and Mary Neff Shaw (eds.), Flannery O'Connor: New Perspectives (1996).

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