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A Prayer Journal

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,898 Ratings  ·  319 Reviews
"I would like to write a beautiful prayer," writes the young Flannery O'Connor in this deeply spiritual journal, recently discovered among her papers in Georgia. "There is a whole sensible world around me that I should be able to turn to Your praise." Written between 1946 and 1947 while O'Connor was a student far from home at the University of Iowa, A Prayer Journal is a r ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2013)
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Bill  Kerwin

This is a slight book, meriting only slight attention, but that is not Flannery O'Connor's fault. I am sure she would be mortified to see it published here, for it is a private journal, the product of her university years, written before the love of God, the cross of lupus and tons of hard work transformed her into one of the great writers of her time.

One of the things one takes away from this brief series of entries (made in large print in half of a composition book) is Flannery's considerable
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rowena by: Elizabeth Cárdenas
“My mind is in a little box, dear God, down inside other boxes inside other boxes and on and on. There is very little air in my box.”

This is only my second O’Connor and I found it a lot more interesting than “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” O’ Connor’s prayers were beautiful and so honest, and her writing very charming. She calls Kafka “Mr Kafka” , which I found endearing. It was obvious that her Catholic faith was very dear to her. There was some internal religious struggles going on; in the diar
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lett-americana
Quando ho visto questo libriccino - un centinaio di pagine, di cui la metà occupate dalla stampa in facsimile dell’originale manoscritto (11 euro) - ho subito pensato alla fregatura: Bompiani sta raschiando il fondo del barile della O’Connor, mi sono detta. Ma l’ho preso lo stesso, perché voglio leggere tutto quello che ha scritto questa donna.
Il diario risale al periodo 1946-1947, quando la O’Connor (allora ventunenne) aveva incominciato a frequentare il “Laboratorio degli scrittori” presso l’U
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Όσοι είστε θρησκευόμενοι στο φουλ ίσως το εκτιμήσετε περισσότερο. Εγώ πάλι το βρήκα εγωκεντρικό, εγωιστικό και σε κάποιες σελίδες λίγο παρανοϊκό. Σίγουρα ήταν ανώφελο να το διαβάσω.

1.5 αστεράκι ...
João Carlos
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2015, non-fiction

Flannery OConnor (1925 – 1964)

A escritora Flannery OConnor (1925 – 1964) é unanimemente reconhecida como um dos expoentes máximos da literatura norte-americana do século XX, particularmente aclamada pela genialidade dos seus trinta e dois contos, coligidos em três volumes: “O Gerânio – Contos Dispersos”, “Um Bom Homem É Difícil de Encontrar” (5*) (1955) e “Tudo o Que Sobe Deve Convergir” (5*) (1965).

“Sangue Sábio” (5*) (1952) e o “Céu É dos Violentos” (5*) (1960) são os seus dois únicos romances
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I feel like a jerk giving 2 stars to Flannery O'Connor's prayers. I mean, how can anyone judge someone else's prayers? I guess what I mean by the 2 stars is that it felt incredibly voyeuristic and kind of wrong to read this. The only reason I did is because someone gave me the book as a gift. I admit, it was interesting to see that she was as anxious as anyone might be about wanting her work to be good, and wanting to be a better person. Still, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that someone w ...more
Steven Rodriguez
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
In a recent interview in the New York Times, Marilynne Robinson criticized Flannery O'Connor, saying, "Her prose is beautiful, her imagination appalls me." The two women have become in my mind a kind of polarity of Christian fiction writing. On one side, Robinson represents the majority stream of Christian fiction writers who champion an expansive doctrine of creation which swallows up salvation and the narrative of the gospel inside its own preoccupations with beauty. On the other side, O'Conno ...more
Maria Thomarey
2,5 ωραια γραφή , αλά οχι για μένα .
Nikos Tsentemeidis
Ένα ημερολόγιο με προσευχές και θρησκευτικούς στοχασμούς. Η συγγραφέας εκλιπαρεί τον Θεό να της δώσει τη Χάρη του γραψίματος.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shows you can't trust every recommendation you read in the New York Times' "By the Book" section. I don't even remember which author it was, but he said that this was one of the delights he returns to, and me, being susceptible to good spiritual stuff (often an oxymoron) clicked CART.

Well, cart my good sense off. To make this already anorexic book thicker, the publisher printed all 40 pp. of her "prayers" and then provided pics of her handwritten journal (yes, the same words) to fill the book ou
Tiffany Reisz
No star rating. This was a journal likely not intended for publication. A few lovely passages in this book will stay with me but the woman Flannery O'Conner herself remains a mystery. I think I know her better from her fiction than this journal. A work of fiction is often more true and honest than a self-aware diary.
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
за цю крихітну книжечку я довго не могла взятися, і, мабуть, щось у тому було правильне: дуже багато вуаєризму в тому, аби підглядати, як – про що – людина молиться. але якщо вже шукати глибинного, інтимного, то навряд чи є краще джерело. та й, з іншого боку, коли фланнері таки вирішать канонізувати, всі все одно побіжать по ці тексти, то чому б не почитати превентивно (і я зараз не знаю, скільки в цьому реченні жарту: останнім часом католицька церква дедалі відкритіша до канонізації світських о ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
An incredibly interesting little book. O'Connor's "prayers" paint an intimate portrait of a young writer struggling with questions of faith and the nature of faith; with a deep-seated fear of mediocrity, both spiritual and artistic; and with a passionate, almost pathological desire to comprehend and transcend the limitations of her nature. O'Connor touches on topics that range from love to self-knowledge to divine grace to art; the breadth of her themes is matched only by the depth with which sh ...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
There is much that can be said of this slim volume. I learnt a lot personally from this prayer journal. O'Connor teaches me to be humble, to accept the faults, to ask for the faithfulness in spite of the 'intellectual quackery' that is very much part of this world, and to be courageous to ask for the refuge in the embracing hands of God.

Here is a Review of it by Marilynne Robinson that appeared in NEW YORK TIMES. Looks to be very interesting. If interested go through it:
Alfonso D'agostino
Meraviglioso. Semplicemente meraviglioso.

"Aiutami a realizzare qualcosa, nel mio lavoro, che sia più che naturale- aiutami, con questo, a amare e sopportare il mio lavoro. Se devo faticare per questo, caro Dio, lascia che sia al Tuo servizio. Mi piacerebbe essere santa in modo intelligente"
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
should preface by saying that this is barely a book -- the actual journal itself, airily typeset with lots of breaks and white space, comprises barely 50pp. you get an insightful 10pg essay from Sessions and then a photo facsimile of the journal itself. so maybe make this a library book if you are not a completist or are balling frugally at this point in your life. this is flannery o'connor, praying, as a young and slightly daunted writer -- she prays for grace, she prays for artistic success, s ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It felt very weird and even disrespectful at points to read someone else's prayers. They're so intimate and deep. Still I found it fascinating and valuable. I couldn't help but nod in agreement with what she had to say and wonder "does God mind if I steal prayers from this book as my own?"

If it's not too awkward to read someone else's prayers then I would definitely recommend this book- to anyone who is struggling with what they want versus what they don't have, who hasn't yet achieved their pu
Melissa Hite
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is very short, but I underlined about half of it.
Sophfronia Scott
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The text for this book comes from a prayer journal that Flannery O'Connor kept in one of those basic composition notebooks (the kind with the marbled black and white cover) while she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1947 and 1948. The journal is brief but striking and powerful because we get to witness O'Connor's straightforward attempt to engage, at times unsuccessfully, with her spiritual life. I especially appreciated how much this journey involved her thinking about her writing life. I ...more
Becky Pliego
Only God can "rate" our prayers (in case you are wondering why I didn't rate it).

I honestly hope Flannery O'Connor would have not mind to know that her prayer journal was published, and that I read it.

Some further thoughts in case you love her and would love to read this journal:

The Introduction by W.A. Sessions I can rate, so I give it 2 stars. I very much disliked that the author tries to say that O'Connor was "universal" and that she wrote these letters to a "presence" she "generally named Go
Judy Croome
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short book of which half is photocopies of O'Connor's journal. As a writer myself, and a person of deep faith in a Divine Being (whatever one wishes to call that Divinity), I was fascinated by her struggle to keep faith in God & herself, and by her constant pleas to God to grant her ambitions to be more than a mediocre writer (possibly because they echo my own prayers)

However, cynically, I wondered who tore out the missing pages - was it the publishers themselves(to keep the journal focus
Amy Edwards
Reading Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal feels very familiar. Her prayers are on one level very different from mine, but in another way it is like seeing my own prayer journal in print. Flannery pleads for grace, and her prayers reflect her a Catholic understanding of salvation (in contrast to my Protestant understanding), but I relate to her request for God to touch her, change her, and make her more like Him. She wants to know God more, to love Him faithfully come what may, and to be given g ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved reading this brief, behind the scenes look at a young, up and coming writer whose devotional life and literary life are so interdependent. O'Conner believes that her success as an author will come (if it is to come) as God's blessing. The journal records the ups and downs of her struggle to reconcile her new academic experiences at school in the midwest with traditional Catholic piety from Savannah. (I wondered if she struggled with mental health issues since she repeatedly refers to herse ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
I LOVED this book, though I did feel a little intrusive as I was reading it. I'll have to disagree with some of the introduction, though. I know Sessions was a friend of O'Connor's - and so how do I presume to know more about her than him? - but it seems to me he doesn't understand Christianity, and especially Catholic Christianity, at it's core.

O'Connor's prayers, pleadings, and analysis of herself and God are touching and insightful.

Re-read 05/2016 More moving the second time around. Her knack
Kathryn Bergeron
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Summary: Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal from some time that she is in college.

Why I Read This: I needed a book for spiritual reading, and the book was short. Plus the entries were short.

Review: I actually really like this. It met me where I was at. It did not actually lift me up into the heavens and help me to strive towards God, but it did help me to express where I was in my relationship with God.
Sam Fink
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very short read. Amazingly insightful for someone who was in her early twenties when she wrote these thoughts. Quite moving. Her youth and yet maturity shine through. Her thoughts go to the heart of the doubts I have felt. Very inspirational.
Tyler Goodson
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
The only reason this is 4 stars is because I WANT MORE.
Det føles litt merkelig å skulle gi stjerner til denne, men for syns skyld slenger jeg på noen.
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Were I ever asked to choose the one American author whose writing best represents our country--its promises and lies, its perfections and blemishes, its benefits worthy of praise and its mistakes worthy of shame--I would overlook the obvious choices, the Hawthornes and Melvilles and Twains and Fitzgeralds, and choose Flannery O'Connor, a Southern woman who lived her life away from the public eye and died of lupus at the tragically young age of 39. Thankfully, this task of choosing will never fal ...more
Tarn Wilson
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, written in O'Conner's early twenties, is full of such sincere spiritual longings - and efforts to tame ego and ambition. It gave me insight into the goals of her stories and her world view. To me, this was the most revealing and interesting line in the journal: "To maintain any thread in the novel there must be a view of the world behind it and the most important single item under this view of the world is conception of love-divine, natural, and perverted." My edition has copies of he ...more
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Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posth ...more
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“Dear God, I don’t want to have invented my faith to satisfy my weakness. I don’t want to have created God to my own image as they’re so fond of saying. Please give me the necessary grace, oh Lord, and please don’t let it be as hard to get as Kafka made it.” 19 likes
“When I think of all I have to be thankful for I wonder that You just don't kill me now because You've done so much for me already & I haven't been particularly grateful.” 15 likes
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