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The Flannery O'Connor Repository

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Comforts of Home focuses on Flannery O'Connor related information evaluated for its reliability and usefulness: links to biographical information about Flannery O'Connor, critical analysis of her work, and general praise of her abilities as a writer and a human being. If you're searching for essays and other scholarship on Flannery O'Connor published on the Web, we try to catch everything that we think is truly helpful. Be aware that most critical analysis of O'Connor is in hard-copy.

News for November

After teaching an online course on O'Connor, Kevin O'Brien had so much positive feedback that he decided to start a Flannery O'Connor Book Club and open it to the public. This will be a great opportunity to join others discussing O'Connor's work, and it all starts on 5th of August 2018 with her short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find." You can join the bookclub and learn more from Kevin at the Flannery O'Connor Book Club site.

Saint Austin Review
Misfits & Mystics: Flannery O’Connor and Friends

Saint Austin Review is a conservative, Catholic periodical that has been in publication since 2001 and has covered literary subjects including Shakespeare, American Literature, Tolkien, poetry, and Chaucer in light of Catholic culture. Their mission is to "evangelize today’s culture through the power of goodness, truth and beauty." Volume 18, issue 2 is a full-sized, high print quality, glossy magazine with a mix of color and black and white illustrations to accompany the 43 pages of articles. As you can guess by the title, this issue focuses on Flannery O’Connor, mainly discussing her fiction but also touching on biographical material. The eight O’Connor-centric articles aren’t the kind of tenure-track PhD material you’ll find in PMLA or Southern Literary Journal, instead they’re accessible commentary connecting themes in O’Connor’s work and life with Catholic tradition. As I mentioned, Saint Austin Review is a conservative publication firmly rooted in Catholic culture, so if you’re looking for a non-Catholic point of view, you won’t find it here, but the articles do include topics like racism, Jungian symbolism, and current popular culture as viewed from a traditional Catholic perspective. The single issue is $9, or you can choose from a variety of subscription options available from the Saint Austin Review website.

Image Quarterly has acquired rights to reprint O'Connor's personal college journal written when she was eighteen years old. This is a rare look at the young author's intellect, humor, faith, and drive to be a successful writer--"I have so much to do that it scares me." The journal is published by an arrangement with the O'Connor estate, and the issue will include previously unpublished photos of O'Connor. The journal and photos are exclusive to the November print issue of Image Quarterly, so if you want to see this material you can either subscribe for one year at $39.95, or pre-order issue 94 for $12. (I am not affiliated with Image, although I do enjoy reading it and recommend a subscription to readers interested in the confluence of literature, art, and faith.) If you would like to know more about what's in the journal, The Atlantic offers a peek at the content.

When considering "vision" there are numerous interpretations that go beyond mere eyesight, and Cassandra Nelson discusses how O'Connor's Catholic perspective may have influenced her concept of vision. Take a look at "Seeing Is Believing: What Flannery O'Connor Meant by 'Vision'" to get Nelson's take on how the meaning of vision has evolved over time, how that connects biological vs. mechanical means of sight, and how this all connects with O'Connor's work.

Michael Yu contacted me about a new film project inspired by O'Connor's story "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and filled me in on the film's premise, which I won't try to lay out in this small space because you can hear it from Michael himself. I'm excited about the crew and cast involved in the project and would love to see it take off. One of Michael's goals is to promote O'Connor's work in mainstream culture.

Uncommon Grace: The Life of Flannery O'Connor
If you're looking for a full-length documentary about O'Connor, this is it. Literally, it's the only one. I'm amazed it's taken so long for O'Connor to get a documentary of her own, but given the recent increased interest in her work, I believe this is the perfect time for one, and Bridget Kurt has done a commendable job of distilling the essence of O'Connor's life into this perfect introduction to O'Connor that explains how her work was influenced by the places she lived, the people around her, her deep Catholic faith, and her illness. The video brings together the tangible with intangible, tracing the thread of relatives, homes, schools, cultural shifts, personal objects, hospitals, work habits, friends and more as she weaves them through her fiction. Of course, it also discusses her unique perspective as a Catholic in the predominantly Protestant state of Georgia, and reveals how her work reflects the tumultuous changes happening during her life. Viewers will be treated to around 100 previously unpublished photos, as well as interviews with experts on O'Connor's work including Bruce Gentry, professor at Georgia College and State University; Brad Gooch, author of the most recent O'Connor biography; and William Sessions, O'Connor's authorized biographer and personal friend.

Daniel Moran recently released Creating Flannery O'Connor, a new book that considers how O'Connor attained the status of the "great American Catholic writer" and how she herself felt about it, examining O'Connor's evolving career and Robert Giroux's role in shaping her literary identity by examining the development of her literary reputation from the perspectives of critics, publishers, agents, and contemporary readers. Moran's sources include the Farrar, Straus & Giroux archives at the New York Public Library, as well as O'Connor's private correspondence. He also discusses current reader opinions--as found on sites like Goodreads--and the way her work is debated and discussed very much as it was when Wise Blood was first published in 1952. Find out more about the book and Daniel Moran at the Creating Flannery O'Connor website.

A group of media students at the Western Kentucky University are working on an episodic documentary called Flannery's Porch. Their goal is to tell the story of O'Connor's legacy in light of the social justice issues prevalent today--sustainability, diversity, poverty, LGBT rights, and animal rights. This means her story can be used as a platform for telling news. The documentary begins with O'Connor's farm and the two women working to save it, Elizabeth and April, both lifelong Flannery fans doing their own work to preserve her legacy.

The Paris Review has a new arts and culture article by David Griffith on "The Displaced Person": Reading O'Connor in the Age of Islamophobia that looks at O'Connor's story in light of the current cultural bias toward muslim refugees.

William Sessions, who recently finished the authorized biography of Flannery O'Connor after many years of deep research through her personal papers, is the main speaker in "Between the House and the Chicken Yard: The Life and Legacy of Flannery O'Connor" a presentation honoring the 50th anniversary of O'Connor's death. Sessions talks with Angela Alaimo O'Donnell, discussing O'Connor's life and work, as well as a short Q&A with the audience where Dr. Sessions reminisces about a long-gone Georgia of the mid-twentieth century, and where O'Connor fitted into that cultural landscape.

Given the complexity of O'Connor's fiction, the fact that her stories refuse simplification, and their demand for absolute attention on the part of the reader, how do we work with O'Connor in the classroom context? How do we bring an audience of impatient college readers whose only experience with O'Connor is probably reading "A Good Man is Hard to Find" partway through their high school American Literature course, to meet her on her terms? Nick Ripatrazone offers up his ideas in "Mystery and Manners: On Teaching Flannery O'Connor".

A request from a visitor looking for audio of O'Connor reading her own work led me to The Morning Oil, where I found WMA files of O'Connor reading "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and one of her lectures on aspects of the grotesque in Southern fiction.

PBS Religion and Ethics Weekly contains a fantastic Flannery O'Connor episode that includes interviews with Ralph Wood, Brad Gooch, Bruce Gentry and people influenced by O'Connor's work.

Navigating Comforts of Home

Biography: Who was Flannery O'Connor?

Online Essays: Criticism of O'Connor's work on the Internet. Many of these are "scholarly," but there are several non-academic articles here as well, so be careful if you use them for a paper.

Books : Works by and about O'Connor available online or at your local bookstore.

(If you want to see everything Amazon offers on O'Connor, you can use this connection that searches anything tagged Flannery O'Connor.)

Other Sites: The requisite "links" page.

Join the Flannery O'Connor Book Club for an opportunity to discuss O'Connor's work with other readers.

Interested in film adaptations of O'Connor's fiction? Here are several productions that have translated O'Connor's stories to the screen.

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Last update: 1 November 2018
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