Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Flannery O'Connor

It's demented how late I came to the stories of Flannery O'Connor, but then she was demented, so I don't feel as bad. Orson Welles said to the director of my favourite film, 'Paper Moon', "It's such a good name, you should just release the title!" You could just release O'Connor's titles - "Everything That Rises Must Converge", "Wise Blood" - and you'd know she was a great writer. "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" is a sensible place to start if you're new to O'Connor, but be warned, things never end as expected. I wasn't warned and I had to throw the book across the room. Her world view is extraordinary and unsparing.

An interesting thing about her is that she is a female writer - the only one I can think of right now - who didn't write about sex or relationships. She just spun incredible stories.

There's nothing as relaxing as a good biography, and Brad Gooch's just released 'Flannery', is fantastic. There's a story about O'Connor, in a Savannah Catholic school as a little girl in the 1930's: she would read voraciously and then write reviews on the flyleaf. On Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' she scribbled "Awful. I wouldn't read this book". On Shirley Watkins' 'Georgina Finds Herself', one of a series of 'Books For Girls', she wrote "This is the worst book I ever read next to 'Pinnochio'".

I actually couldn't sleep last night because that image - Flannery as nine year old defacing classic books - kept making me laugh.

I just read her bio page. She didn't write about sex or relationships? Makes her quite memorable, no doubt.
Thank You! Just ordered the biography. A favorite teacher introduced me to her work and I wrote a paper on her for school (not saying how long ago). I'll have to read a few stories while waiting for the new book to arrive -- can't wait! xo
"When I was six I had a chicken that walked backward and was in the Pathe News. I was in it too with the chicken. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been anticlimax.”
I googled her when you told me about her. Have ordered and wait patiently for her to arrive.

Reading the "secret life of bees" Sue Monk Kidd.

I've ordered Sebastian Barry's "The Secret Scripture". I've heard great things about it, hoping it won't disappoint.
On the music front check out:
"Big in Japan" by Ane Brun.
A song about masterbation I believe, but please don't let that encourage or repulse you.

It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Also,Lisa Hannigan "Upside down", is worth a listen. (Lisa dated and sang alongside Damien Rice. But now is going solo.)

Two woman with really beautiful voices.
I have a Flannery O'conner book that was given to me several years ago. I never picked it up but now I will. I am usually the last person to discover something really good. It took me until 5 yrs ago to discover Lorrie Moore and she is now one of my absolute favorites.
flannery aquired lupus when she was in her twenties and afterwards really never left the farm she was born on. I don't think she ever married. She once said something to the effect that every experience that she ever needed to write, or cared or inspired her, to write about happened before she was 18.
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