Reprinted from The Writers Almanac
It’s the birthday of Flannery O’Connor who said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd,” and “Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.” She didn’t want a biography written about her because, she said, “Lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.”
Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925. When she was five years old, she trained a chicken to walk backward, and a newsreel company came to her house to make a film about it, which was shown all over the country. She said, “I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been anticlimax.”
She spent much of her life on her family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, raising poultry and writing novels and short stories: Wise Blood (1952), The Violent Bear It Away (1960), A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955), and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965). This last book of short stories was published after her death in 1964, at the age of 39, from complications of lupus.
She said: “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”
Flannery O’Connor was strange, brilliant and truly original. She was also very funny, often in a macabre way.
I’m proud that she was a Southerner, which I consider myself to be. I’ve read everything she wrote, and I don’t believe I really understand any of it.
My favorite piece of her work is the short story Revelation. If you haven’t read it, please do. You’ll never forget it.
- Happy Birthday, Flannery O’Connor! (mysteriesandmanners.wordpress.com)
- Spotted & VIDEO: Flannery O’Connor Homemade Parade (savannahnow.com)
- Happy Birthday Flannery O’connor (mraybould.wordpress.com)
- Flannery O’Connor: 10 quotes on her birthday (csmonitor.com)
- Fiction, Dust, and Flannery O’Connor (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
- Some Georgia wisdom to start the week (blogs.ajc.com)