Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mary Flannery O'Connor's Birthday is Today

Today is the birthdate of Flannery O'Connor , one of my all-time favorite short story writers. She was born on March 25, 1925 to Regina Cline and Edward F. O'Connor. Here's a link to her bio if you want to read more.

I was first introduced to her short stories in an American Literature college course in the mid-1980s, while living in El Paso.

After reading, "Good Country People" I was hooked. During that semester we studied the fiction of many American writers, including two of my favorites, O'Connor and Katherine Anne Porter. Something about their writing moved me to want to write short stories.

About four years ago, while returning to Missouri from Florida over Thanksgiving holiday, we stopped in Savannah to visit her Flannery's childhood home at 207 E. Charlton, where she lived from her birth in 1925 until she moved to Milledgeville, GA, in 1938.

Her Savannah home wasn't open the day we visited, but I took some photos of the grandkiddos standing outside the house. I thought it was neat that the name of the street she grew up on (Charlton) was the maiden name of my great-grandmother.

If you're not familiar with O'Connor's short stories, do youself a favor and read at least one.

And, if you're a lover of short stories or good literature in general, I recommend the book, THE ART OF THE SHORT STORY: 52 GREAT AUTHORS, THEIR BEST SHORT FICTION, AND THEIR INSIGHTS ON WRITING by Dana Gioia and R. S. Gwynn.

Included in that text are O'Connor's short stories "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Revelation," along with an essay by O'Connor's on her perspective on the element of suspense in "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

So, Happy Birthday, Mary Flannery O'Connor, and thank you for bringing such wonderful stories to the world.

9 comments:

  1. I read a biography on her a few years ago and found her fascinating, too!

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  2. O'Connor IS a wonderful writer. And if she knew she had inspired you to write, I'm sure she would have insisted on sitting down and talking "shop" with you.

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  3. Hi Krysten,
    She had such talent. Too bad she died so young.

    Hi Sioux,
    Sitting down and talking with her would be a dream come true. Someone needs to invent a time machine.

    Donna

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  4. How neat to have a photo of her home with your grandkids in the forefront.

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    1. It is neat. I need to dig it out.
      Donna

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  5. I love Flannery O'Connor! I love her book of essays about writing, MYSTERY AND MANNERS, and often quote her when I talk about books and writing. She and Katherine Porter were both huge inspirations for me. K.P.'s story, NOON WINE was especially evocative of time and place for me.

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    1. Hi Clara,
      My favorite KAP story is "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall." I've read it about ten times, and every time I read it I find something new.
      Donna

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  6. Nice post Donna. I'll have to do some reading of Flannery O'Connor now!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn,
      Thanks. I think you'll enjoy her short stories.
      Donna

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