Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
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 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
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
Brad Gooch organizes his biography of Flannery O'Connor around her correspondence, her public talks, and his interviews of and reading of writings by people who came into contact with her. In other words, he outlines her life as she presented it, rather than pretendin...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
Gooch doesn't shy away from the contradictions in Flannery's personality, while also offering the reasons she herself gave for them. He also avoids the other biograp...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
Readers who enjoy Flannery O'Connor should take a look at Brad Gooch's Flannery. This book draws on a variety of sources, including interviews and letters, to provide a well-rounded portrait of the humor, religious devotion and social times that strongly influenced Flannery O'Connor and her work. Gooch brings to light many of O'Connor's personality quirks, including her fondness for birds and her solitary nature, and uncovers many of the real life people and incidents that appear in her...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
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
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