Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
The book begins with the image of a five year old Flannery and her chickens being filmed by Pathe Newsreel Company. Why film this? Because how many little girls do you know who could teach chickens to walk...more
I write only about two hours every day because that's all the energy I have, but I don't let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place...something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don't sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won't be sitting there.
This piecing together of snippets from Flannery O'Connor's writing life was my favorite takeaway from the biography. The entire narrative reads like a smorgasb...more
The gifted O'Connor once stated that she would merit no biography because "lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy." Brad Gooch, however, has done a thorough job teasing out the details of O'Connor's short life and enduring legacy. Although gracious and polite, Gooch was nonetheless admonished by critics for skimming over some of the more eyebrow-raising aspects of her life, such as the question of her sexuality and her contentious relationship with her mothe...more
It is not hard to imagine there being countless more people than I who are complete opposites of Mary Flannery O'Connor. To think she was such a serious Catholic who almost never missed a 7AM mass unless she was sick enough to be in hospital or on her death bed. To imagine she never ever had sex with anyone, and the only time she ever came close was in the awful tooth kiss she had with an early male suitor. At least if we believe the writings of her biogra...more
That Flannery died at age 39 from lupus is one of the greater tragedies in literary history. Much like the talk about Mozart, the mind shudders at the thought of all the work she might have produced had she been allowed to live. Nevertheless,...more
The book goes into great detail about her life (more than I like to read -- I don't need a blow-by-blow of every class she took at college, etc.). Some people might like to know these kinds of things, but this is one of the issues I always have when I read biographies, too much information.
This book draws on correspondence wi...more
Reading Flannery O'Connor's first novel, Wise Blood, Caroline Gordon discovered “a Catholic novelist with a real dramatic sense, one who relies more on her technique than her piety.” Other critics of O'Connor's debut...more
Ok...enough with the Randy metaphor. I expected a LOT from this book and in some ways it delivered. Actually, to continue with the music/TV metaphor for one more moment (which I'm sure would be horrifying to both Flannery O'Connor AND Brad Gooch--sorry...) it's kind of like "Behind the Music." I always like the part BEFORE they get famous mor...more
okay, i'll also admit that much of my dislike is attributed to the series of disasters...more
I think the fact that I could make it through an entire book about someone of whom I had practically no foreknowledge pretty much speaks for itself,...more
If you're a student of Flannery O'Connor (like me), this is an essential text. Here, for the first time, is a serious biography that tells the story of her life and work in a comprehensive narrative. For this, I am grateful to author Brad Gooch. Thank you, Sir.
But there are (minor) factual inaccuracies most O'Connor students will instantly catch. And several relationships and events in Flannery O'Connor's life merit a fuller investigation...more
This book is thorough and interesting, yet it can't answer--probably no book can, not even one by O'Connor--why or how she managed to write about the strange, misfit, alienated people in our society and how she did it so skillfully. She stud...more