The Biography of Flannery O'Connor
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1221 Words

Fiction operates through the senses and I think one reason that people

find it so difficult to write stories is that they forget how much time

and patience is required to convince through the senses."

BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAYMore than thirty years after her death at age thirty-nine,

Flannery O'Connor is considered one of the great writers of the twentieth

century. Although she wrote just two short novels and about thirty stories,

O'Connor's originality set her fiction apart. A Roman Catholic who was

born and raised in the Protestant South, O'Connor wrote mostly about poor,

white Southerners undergoing struggles of faith and belief. Always present

in her stories is a dual sense of evil and divinity, capturing both the

reality of human weakness and the redemptive power of God's grace. O'Connor'

s stories, written in simple, unadorned language, portray conflicts experienced

by bizarre, strange, and often deformed characters.

O'Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia, the daughter

of Edward Francis O'Connor, a real estate broker, and Regina Cline O'Connor.

She lived in the city until she was thirteen when her parents moved to

Milledgeville, a small farming town. A few years later, her father died

of a disease of the immune system known as lupus erythematosus. After graduating

from Peabody High School in 1942, O'Connor attended Georgia State College

for Women, where she drew illustrations for the school newspaper and yearbook

and edited The Corinthian, a literary magazine. After graduating from Georgia

State (now Georgia College) in 1945, she won a fellowship to the University

of Iowa Writers' Workshop in Iowa City. Her first short story, "The Geranium,"

was published in 1946, the year before she graduated from Iowa with a masters

of fine arts degree. From 1948 to 1949 she lived at Yaddo, a writers colony

located in Saratoga Springs, New York.

In the...

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