Flannery O’Connorwas a young mid-twentieth century American fiction writer who lived inMilledgeville Georgia. Throughout her life span O’Connor wrote two completenovels, Wise Blood and the Violent Bear It Away, as well asthirty-one short stories. Her work is regarded as “among the most distinguishedAmerican fiction of the mid-twentieth century.” (Meyer, 2017, pg.335) O’Connorwrote for Georgia State College for Women in their literary magazine after herfather died of lupus. Her work earned her a fellowship to the Writers’ Workshopat the University of Iowa. Shortly after two years O’Connor began her firstnovel, Wise Blood when she moved toNew York. In 1950, she was diagnosed with lupus and returned to Georgia to bewith her mother while raising peacocks and writing stories in her last years oflife.
Being one of the “most distinguished”American fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century, Flannery O’Connoraccomplished a great deed before her death. She lived with her mother andfather in a small town called Milledgeville located in southern Georgia. Althoughher life was largely uneventful she humorously acknowledged its quiet natureand claimed, “there will not be any biographies of me because for only onereason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make excitingcopy.” (Meyer, 2017, pg. 336) O’Connor’s outline of her life offered clues onwhy she wrote such powerful fiction. O’Connor was born in Savannah,Georgia where she attended grammar school and high school. She was an only childand both of her parents were Catholic. When she was thirteen, her father fellill with disseminated lupus.
Her father quit his real-estate business and thefamily soon moved to Milledgeville, Georgia. O’Connor attended public schooland shortly after enrolled in Georgia State College after the death of herfather. After that her writing career began. She wrote her first novel in 1950,Wise Blood. She then fell ill with lupus.
Flannery O’Connor’s deep spiritualconvictions coincide with the traditional emphasis on religion in the South,where, she said, “there is still the belief that man has fallen and that he isonly perfectible by God’s grace, not by his own unaided efforts.” (Meyer, 2017,pg. 338) Her work coincides to everyone because her concerns about humanfailure and degradation and her artistic ability to render fictional lives thatare alternately absurdly comic and tragic attract readers of all persuasions.
Herstories evoke rhythms of rural southern speech and manners in settings wherewidely diverse characters mingle. O’Connor’s stories present complexexperiences that cannot be summarized, it takes the entire story to suggest themeanings. Her upbringing and life experiences influenced her writing to attractto all persuasions of readers. O’Connor’s fiction grapples with living aspiritual life in a secular world. Flannery O’Connor’s work will always beregarded to as, “the most distinguished American fiction of the mid-twentiethcentury.”