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January 28, 2019


#Classic Flannery O’Connor

by N@ncy



  1. I’ve had this book on TBR for 2 years!
  2. I was very, very impressed.
  3. It would be bleak stuff if it weren’t so enthralling,
  4. ….and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.
  5. O’Connor works in major social issues (race) and religious themes
  6. …( suffering, epiphany), but doesn’t hit the reader over the head with them.
  7. Some stories are dark with a surprise ending.
  8. Strong point: She writes the Negro dialect as if she
  9. …spoke it herself, and portrays
  10. southern speech patterns easily.
  11. I took me 4 days to read all 31  (long) short stories.
  12. A Displaced Person is 42 pages
  13. The Lame Shall Enter First is 38 pages
  14. 10  stories are between 20-29 pages
  15. 54% very good stories!
  16. Reading up on O’Connor’s life, which came to an early end from illness,
  17. ….it wasn’t hard for me to see how some of
  18. …her own personal trials must have informed her work.
  19. #MustRead Classic


Table of Contents:

  1. The Geranium – Old man (lives with daughter NYC) homesick for the South (YES)
  2. The Barber – man and barber have a political discussion (YES)
  3. Wildcat – blind man can’t see but can smell the wildcat (YES)
  4. The Crop – writer (O’Connor?)….glimpse how a writer plots a story
  5. The Turkey – young boy…chases turkey, wants to impress family (YES)
  6. The Train – young man on train trip…felt like a pointless story
  7. The Peeler – Fast talking potato peeler salesman vs blind street preacher
  8. The Heart of the Park – Enoch spies on ladies at the swimming pool strange story
  9. A Stroke of Good Fortune – Ruby is having a baby…but she doesn’t know it!
  10. Enoch and the Gorilla – Enoch stares at the ape in the zoo
  11. Good Man is Hard to Find – famous O’Connor story (YES)
  12. A Late Encounter With the Enemy – grandfather attends granddaughter’s graduation
  13. The Life You Save May Be Your Own – one-arm drifter marries young girl (YES)
  14. The River – young neglected boy taken to river baptizing by his babysitter
  15. A. Circle of Fire – three teenage boys come for unexpected visit
  16. The Displaced Person – widow (dairy farm) tries to decide if she will fire employee (YES)
  17. A Temple of the Holy Ghost – 14 yr girls (Catholic school) visit their mother’s friend (YES)
  18. The Artificial Nigger – Grandfather takes grandson on first train trip to Atlanta (YES)
  19. Good Country People – Bible salesman comes to the door….fools everybody. (so-so)
  20. You Can’t Be Any Poorer Than Dead – grand uncle-nephew…bury me. (YES haunting)
  21. Greenleaf – widow owns dairy farm with 2 lazy sons – neighbour’s bull is in her herd! (YES)
  22. A View of the Woods – grandfather – granddaughter (9 yr)..his heir – haunting story (YES)
  23. The Enduring Chill – son travels from NYC back home to mother. (very funny…YES)
  24. The Comforts of Home – Mother takes ‘con-artist’ in home… (surprise ending…YES)
  25. Everything That Rises Must Converge  Mother-son on a bus ride (absolutely amazing YES)
  26. The Partridge Festival – young man (23 yr) visits his two great-aunts (very good..YES)
  27. The Lame Shall Enter First – Father-son (11 yr) grieving for dead mother (powerful…YES)
  28. Why Do the Heathen Rage? widow faced with having an immature and inept young son
  29. Revelation – strange patients in the doctor’s waiting room
  30. Parker’s Back- drifter/handy-man ends up marrying hyper-religious wife…trouble.
  31. Judgement Day – Old man (lives with daughter NYC) longs to return to the South to die



Read more from Classic, short story
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. tracybham
    Jan 29 2019

    I think I would like this, Nancy, and I haven’t read anything by this author… at least not in many, many years. A good friend was just talking about reading some of this author’s writings.


    • Jan 29 2019

      I enjoyed this book very much.
      It reflects the South and the feelings of privilege that were
      slipping through the fingers of many as segregation spread.
      The South…you know it well, Tracy…so I’ll be curious what you think of these stories.
      I read them all in 4 days…
      but perhaps it is best to read them over a period of time
      ….let the stories settle in your mind.


  2. Oh, don’t you love an author that employs subtlety??? It allows you to absorb their words and have their thoughts intertwine with yours instead of feeling like you need to be on the defensive. And what a beautiful cover of the book! I’ve read a couple of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories but I really need to read more!


    • Jan 30 2019

      I was very impressed by O’Connor’s writing…and she did it all in such a short life.
      I’ve noted my favorite stories and one of the best “Everything That Rises Must Converge” she managed to finish just before her death. She showed amazing talent and determination ….right to the end…to enjoy her passion, writing.



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  1. #Non-fiction: The American Short Story | NancyElin

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