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Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  18,275 ratings  ·  1,231 reviews
Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly indivi ...more
Paperback, 269 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1965)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Sometimes Flannery O'Connor feels like a verbally abusive boyfriend that you just keep going back to. You sigh a bit deeper at the end of each tale, feeling a little more defeated by the uglier sides of existence, the weaknesses of human beings, and the general cruelty masked within the humdrum buzzing of life. Her view is grim, you never hope for a Hollywood ending, you sense it building page by page, the inevitable dagger to the gut that will be dealt by the final paragraph, and then that last ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A misbegotten bus ride, an ill-chosen hat, and a shiny new penny converge to provide the setup here.  A well of simmering resentment rises to the boiling point, and there will be no turning back.  

I love the tone of Flannery O'Connor's short stories, created with an air of despair and a disturbing feel.  The characters are always just a little "off" and many times mean-spirited.  They walk amongst us, don't think for one minute that they don't.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
and she observed that the more education they got, the less they could do.

A descriptive title of Flannery O'Connor's short story collection could be, This Aint Gonna End Well.

This collection is like a crescendo of awfulness, brutality and despair. Physically it's sort of akin to getting kicked in the stomach, and then when your down getting stomped on the back, then for the next story getting kicked in the face, and then getting a nice solid shot to the liver when you try to stand up again, and
Paul Bryant
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Three strange things about Flannery O’Connor :

1. Flannery. Kind of a pretty odd name. Some writers get them, don’t they – Edwidge, Somerset, Rudyard, Rider, Tennessee. Never heard of nobody else called no Flannery.

2. What links these celebs with our author : Selina Gomez, Lady Gaga and Ferdinand Marcos. Answer : lupus. An auto-immune disease.

3. Grace. Apparently either a lot or all of Flannery’s stories are about grace. This is a Christian concept defined as "the love and mercy given to us by G
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog

There is no doubt. I am a Flannery O’ Connor junkie. I can’t think of anything she’s written I haven’t loved. Even her letters and essays ring true. She is, to some degree, a product of her environment, and her use of certain words can grate on our 21st-century ears, but a toned-down O’Connor would not be O’Connor. Everything That Rises Must Converge may be her best collection of short stories, including, among others, the title s
Dave Schaafsma
"Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge"--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Flannery O’Connor died at the age of 39 of complications from lupus. This manuscript was what she had been working on the last ten years of her life, not yet submitted to her press, but considered to be essentially finished
Cindy Rollins
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, audiobooks
I have tried and tried to read Flannery O'Connor because people I trusted said I should but the darkness always got to me.
"They" said her books were about redemption but I couldn't see it.
Then I read her letters-A Habit of Being-and fell in love with Flannery. I began to trust her. I decided to try her stories again.
They were still painfully dark but I got the 'redemption.'
Flannery understood people and she was unwilling to let any of us off the hook. At first it seems she is only exposing u
This lovely collection of sentimental stories is just the thing for a rainy Sunday when you want to curl up on the couch and read your blues away. Just try to read the title story, in which a beloved mother learns she has something surprising in common with a woman of color, without feeling your spirits rise! Or "A View of the Woods," a beautiful pastoral where an old man takes his favorite granddaughter out for ice cream and they both learn about the importance of family. This must have been wh ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing

“I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I'm afraid it will not be controversial.” – Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor once addressed readers who did not share her views by writing, “You have to make your vision apparent by shock – to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.”

The nine stories included in the Everything That Rises Must Converge collection are densely populated with “large and startling” figures and the narrat

4.5 stars.

When the mother in the title story asserts to her son Julian: "I know who I am," she is mainly referring to her social & cultural identity, identities that divide us from human beings who happen to be on the other side of race, class, religion, gender, because if you really knew who you are; that self-realization itself would open the doors of perception, kindness, empathy—leading to a state of grace.
Grace that is the linchpin of Flannery O'Connors' writing & it comes in unexpected way
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
“She was a good Christian woman with a large respect for religion, though she did not, of course, believe any of it was true.”

A collection of stories about humans, relationships, sons, fathers, mothers, faith and sin. I read this book right after A good man is hard to find, and I enjoyed both of them, although I found this one stronger. The analysis of the human behaviour went even deeper into the souls of every flawed individual portrayed in these stories, which seemed to focus more on the rel
Well I tell you one thing she can write. This woman was of exceptional cleverness and writes of characters of her era and ones that live around us now. She rights of the human condition and the darkness of the heart. These story have humour thrown in she tries to give us a view of how we behave and how insanely stupid and careless we can be. How love blinds and evil destroys, how good can only prosper.
She writes of parenthood, guilt, obsession, control freaks, the sick, the despondent, vengeance
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall, I enjoyed reading this collection of stories quite a bit. The arithmetic mean (stop rolling your eyes — there is a method to my madness!) was 3.67 and therefore I will rate this collection 4 stars. 😊

I was pleasantly surprised I liked these stories because on the surface there wasn’t much to like about the characters in the stories. They were portrayed as unattractive, many of the whites were dyed-in-the-wool racists, even the children were portrayed in less than a nice light. But the st
Tom Mathews
I read/listened to A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories and Everything That Rises Must Converge back-to-back and have to say that I found the tone of this book a bit softer than A Good Man. While both books share a dearth of characters vying for sainthood, this last volume written before her death at least seems to offer some hope for humanity. Still O'Connor’s prose offers us an insight into the human condition that is unparalleled in American literature. As Thomas Merton said after her ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-lit
Flannery O'Connor combines an ear for dialect and dialog with racial and class ironies in the reforming South; at the heart of her stories is a controlling sensibility like Mrs Turpin who asks God at the end how she is like a pig. The reader, placed by O'Connor in a godlike position, knows. It's a Revelation.
Perhaps the most revealing story, and the most prescient of things to come--that have now come-- is the story on tattoos, "Parker's Back." Parker, doubtful of his own body, and hoping to i
Stephen M
Prose style: 2
Plot: 3
Depth of characters: 3
Overall sense of aesthetic: 2
Originality: 3
Entertaining: 1
Emotional Reaction: 2
Intellectual Stimulation: 4
Social Relevance: 4
Writerly Inspiration: 1

Average = 2.5
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There were some stories that I thought were very strong, the first two especially. On their own, those were hands down five stars. 'The Comforts of Home' and 'The Lame Shall Enter First' I also thought worked very well. But my grippes all come from her writing style. She has a ver
Genia Lukin
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other
These stories are amazingly grim. Practically every single one manages to end with the death of someone or another, usually in the grisliest and most horrifying manner possible.

Aside from a tendency to never leave her characters alive, O'Connor also takes a look at hypocrisy, and she does it again, and again, and again. It's actually a quite terrifying look, all the more so because you keep feeling 'I know this person... wait, I've been this person'.

Which one of us hasn't felt the urge to be ch
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Best collection of short stories since Hemingway. O'Connor is now a bit faded out of sight but in the 1950s and 1960s she had a strong reputation. She lived a very intense but short life (because of illness) in the South of the United States. Her tone is markedly realistic-accurate, with sparse details (only those that are necessary) but with a far-reaching psychological depth. The stories almost always are about two people (male-female, son-mother, grandfather-grandchild, etc) with a close but ...more
Tom LA
Nov 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I've ever read in my life.

O'Connor was a good writer, maybe, from a technical perspective. But boy, there is something seriously off about these stories. And I wonder why no one seems to point this out, and everyone keeps on calling this author a "genius".

So, what's wrong with these stories?

Let's start with the fact that they are sermons, parables: O'Connor has no interest in telling you a story for the sake of narration. She is out to PREACH from her typewriter. Her re
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap!

Or really, I ought to say that these stories are all about crappy holier-than-thou jerkwads all coming to gloriously nasty ends. And/or despair. As desert.

I expected something of this before I read it, of course. I've heard that Flannery O'Connor is one of the masters of the short fiction and nothing I've read is telling me any else. But what can we really expect?

TONS of racism. A mountain of some of the very worst humanity has to offer handed to us in our very own PoVs. This is fifti
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
The author has been called "a genius" for her woebegone tales of southern white trash, hence many readers humbly accept this hyperbole and are in agreement. It's an understandable aberration. Her stories or parables are too similar for my taste buds and, for best effect, should be read months apart. I read in a compressed "sit" and wanted to gore certain critics, like Alfred Kazin, just as Mrs May is off'd in "Greenleaf." (Foreshadowed early in the story; same with the gun in "The Comforts of Ho ...more
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
(this review kind of takes in 'A Good Man is Hard to Find' as well)

...been wallowing in Flannery O'Connor's world for a few days now, and in some ways that has worked against the effectiveness of these great stories. Because it's a library book that's got to go back I was reading two or three stories a day and I think I will buy the collected stories and read them slowly, probably over a year or more and far apart again to fully savour O'Connordom. Complete mad worlds tilted with subtle heirarch
Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Gruesome, dark, wickedly funny, yet particularly spiritual, these short stories stand as some of the best of the genre. The characters here are across the board pretty revolting and rarely evoke pity (O'Connor despised pity), yet they are wonderful examinations of the ridiculously painful and the painfully ridiculous facts of human existence. These stories are fascinating case studies, and some of them are just perfectly written down to the last word.

The showpiece here is "Greenleaf" (if you rea
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
O'Connor's visual descriptions make me think of paint, of the keen eye of the artist and the bold translation of light into silver and black, fierce depths of shadow into purple, arterial red, pine green. They are also very dynamic, full of verbs, motions, relations. Even a still image glares back at the looker provocatively, demanding some response. The writing also has fine clarity and precision, great intensity and force. She drives her subtle points home with hammers, a full and devastating ...more
Raul Bimenyimana
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-writers
At the age of 5, Flannery O'Connor had taught her chicken to walk backwards, such a sight was this (and one can only imagine) that O'Connor and her chicken made it on the news and she once said that everything from there was anticlimactic. When I read about this, I surprisingly wasn't shocked, having read her stories, a young O'Connor teaching a chicken to walk backwards wasn't strange or fantastic because I had seen her work, when I read it, it felt very typical of Flannery O'Connor.

O'Connor is
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
O'Connor is a masterful short story writer. Her prose is stark and efficient, which allows it to sneak up on you in unexpected and unsettling ways. She drops you into these random, seemingly benign situations (young adult son accompanying his Mom on a bus ride to the YMCA, grandfather spending some quality "bonding time" with his granddaughter, etc.), then slowly builds a sense of anxiety and dread, accelerating mercilessly toward an almost invariably devastating conclusion.

If you're looking fo

I don’t like judging short stories and books read for school that harshly, but this just wasn’t it for me. Last semester I read A View of the Woods by Flannery O’Conner and liked that way more than this short story.

In this short story we follow a young man named Julian and his mother (unnamed) at the time after the Civil Rights movement. Julian is pro-civil rights, while his mother thinks it’s a petty joke.

I feel like I should support and like Julians character more than his mother (since we h
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Nice Catholic ladies aren't supposed to demolish you like this. O'Connor was born to be a literary knife fighter. Page after page, with zero sentimentality, O'Connor rips the grotesque out of her characters and with a bareknuckle, Christian realism absolutely dares you to turn the page. Hers is a painful grace, a search for the holy in the swamps of the Southern absurd. The brilliant thing about O'Connor is by telling her stories of divine grace among the heretics and the horrors, the reader mig ...more
Kolockr Ruth
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Mrs. O'Connor is an uncompromising woman. She does not like racism, doesn't like northern liberals, but mostly hates hypocrites. The last one I mentioned is to designate catastrophes and sometimes violent and terrible death, on which only enlightenment and revelation came.

The stories O'Connor wrote on her deathbed do not compromise and do not make assumptions to the innocent reader. She did not come to please anyone but to hit you with her words, sometimes the blow so hard that you remain dizzy
It's hard to describe how disturbing, macabre and gothic-seeming these stories are. There are no happy characters, no pleasant endings, only sadness, tragedy, bad behavior and disillusionment. They will be hard to forget, and I'm anxiously awaiting my book club discussion about them. Glad to finally be able to say I've read some of Flannery O'Connor's works; better late than never. I would love hearing where her inspirations for these stories came from. ...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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