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O'Connor, Flannery

religious sense

(US, 1925–64)

O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, and it is the sense of the South at its most grotesque and violent which characterizes her writing. She was a deeply religious Catholic and her small group of works—she died of congenital lupus at the age of 39—focus on prophetic figures who are corrupted by pride and hypocrisy. Religious in the sense of visionary, her work is characterized by a macabre humour and deadly powers of observation. The easiest way into it is through the short stories, particularly A Good Man is Hard to Find (1955). In her most important book, Wise Blood (1952), the central figure, Hazel Motes, is a religious fanatic driven by the need to escape his own fanaticism. While the subject matter may not seem appealing, O'Connor's economical style and devastating wit are to be relished.

Graham Greene, William Faulkner, Carson McCullers  LM

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