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Book Title: Complete Stories|
The author of the book: Flannery O'Connor
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Reader ratings: 7.6
Edition: Faber Faber
Date of issue: April 2nd 2009
ISBN 13: 9780571245789
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 35.80 MB
Read full description of the books:
The stories in this collection were written by an unassuming yet serious Catholic woman from Georgia who, after devoting her short life to writing, died of lupus in 1964. Besides the stories, she had written two novels and started a third; one can only speculate what other masterpieces she would have written had she lived longer.
The stories are hard-bitten, bizarre and haunting. Two that I read years ago in college have stuck with me and are just as jarring today as they were then. O'Connor's theme is the warpedness that resides deep in the human heart. Her protagonists are usually people who think quite highly of themselves. They are often nice people who are nice to everyone (within reasonable limits, of course) and think that the world would be a nicer place to live if only everyone were as nice as they are (“Good Country People”, “Everything that Rises Must Converge”). There are the people who dream nostalgically of a segregated society where inferiors knew their rank, respected their betters and did not try to move outside of their foreordained place in the pecking order (“The Geranium”, “Judgment Day”). Then there are the educated or artistic types who feel confined or bored by the life they lead, can't wait to escape, and sneer at all the inferior mortals around them (“Good Country People”, “The Enduring Chill”). And of course, there are those horrifying individuals who are evil, have surrendered themselves to it, and commit atrocities just because they can (“A Good Man is Hard to Find”, “The Lame Shall Enter First”).
O'Connor's wrath and sarcasm are reserved most of all for those people who are so immured in themselves that they are unaware of their own blindness. Often there is a cataclysmic moment of epiphany when they are confronted at last with their own shortcomings.
O'Connor lets these people show us their true colours either by enabling us to eavesdrop on their thoughts or by allowing us to listen to their conversations; she is a master of psychology and of dialogue. In her descriptions of the background scenery, nature often serves to highlight the desire of certain characters to escape their circumstances or the feeling of being trapped in an environment from which they cannot disentangle themselves without great effort.
These stories are dark, bitter, angry and often tragic. But they are a brilliant barometer of the human heart and the depravity of which it is capable when left untouched by divine grace.
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Read information about the authorFlannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published in Mystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia
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