Flannery O'Connor, Uncensored

W hen "The Church and the Fiction Writer" appeared in America in March 30, 1957, Georgia-born Flannery O’Connor had just turned 32. By then her novel, Wise Blood (1952), and her short stories, some of which had appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, The Kenyon Review, The Sewanee Review and Shenandoah (eventually published in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories [1955]), had gathered national acclaim, though not all critics could locate her genius with any precision. Granville Hicks, for example, wrote in The New Leader of A Good Man Is Hard to Find that "Miss O’Connor regards human life as mean and brutish and that she makes this judgment from an orthodox Christian point of view. But one does not have to believe in original sin to be affected by the stories."

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