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Happy Birthday, Flannery!

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. 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 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.

I met Flannery in my freshman lit class, and she freaked me out. She also gave me my go to phrase when I'm flummoxed. "A good man is hard to find." If you haven't read her collected short stories, read them and prepare to have your head rearranged. Then, if you're still standing, go for the novels.

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