Short stories by Flannery O' Connor

In 1943, eighteen-year-old Mary Flannery O’Connor went north on a summer trip. Growing up in Georgia—she spent her childhood in Savannah, and went to high school in Milledgeville—she saw herself as a writer and artist in the making. She created illustrated books “too old for children and too young for grown-ups” and dryly titled an assemblage of her poems “The Priceless Works of M. F. O’Connor”; she drew cartoons and submitted them to magazines, noting that her hobby was “collecting rejection slips.” On her travels, she and two cousins visited Manhattan: Chinatown, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Columbia University. Then they went to Massachusetts, and visited Radcliffe, where one cousin was a student. O’Connor disliked both schools, and said so in letters and postcards to her mother. (Her father had died two years earlier.) Back in Milledgeville, O’Connor studied at the state women’s college (“the institution of higher larning across the road”). In 1945, she made her next trip north, enrolling in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she dropped the Mary (it put her in mind of “an Irish washwoman”) and became Flannery O’Connor.

Less than two decades later, she died, in Milledgeville, of lupus. She was thirty-nine, the author of two novels and a book of stories. A brief obituary in the Times called her “one of the nation’s most promising writers.” Some of her readers dismissed her as a “regional writer”; many didn’t know she was a woman. We are still learning who Flannery O’Connor was. The materials of her life story have surfaced gradually: essays in 1969, letters in 1979, an annotated Library of America volume in 1988, and a cache of personal items deposited at Emory University in 2012, which yielded the “Prayer Journal,” jottings on faith and fiction from her time at Iowa. Each phase has deepened the portrait of the artist and furthered her reputation. Southerners, women, Catholics, and M.F.A.-program instructors now approach her with devotion. We call her Flannery; we see her as a wise elder, a literary saint, poised for revelation at a typewriter set up on the ground floor of a farmhouse near Milledgeville because treatments for lupus left her unable to climb stairs.

Listing 9 stories.

Three boys wreak havoc upon a woman's Georgia property and refuse to leave.

An elderly southern man travels to New York City to live with his daughter when he can no longer care for himself. While there, his hatred for his environment reveals his virulent racism and bitter dissatisfaction with his lot in life.

Mr. Fortune, an industrious old landowner with his eye toward the development of his country town, spends all of his time with his favorite granddaughter, Mary Fortune. She is his spitting image in appearance and spirit, completely unlike his despised son-in-law - until a major disagreement brings them to blows.

In an integrating society, an unprejudiced son and his racist mother encounter a Black family on a bus, forcing the mother to grapple with her racist sentiments.

An old lady orders her farm worker, Mr. Greenleaf, to kill his sons' bull that is loitering on her property.

When a Southern ex-Navy soldier turned farmhand from Alabama begins to feel hopeless about his relationship with his wife, he decides that getting a religious tattoo on his back will solve all his marital problems.

At a doctor's office in the midcentury South, a racist white farmer speaks too much of her mind in front of a young Wellesley college student.

A racist grandfather and his grandson get lost in the Atlanta. The grandfather wants to convince his grandson that Atlanta is bad because of its Black population, but his grandson does not yet understand race.

A mysterious young man appears at an old woman’s house one day and woos her deaf daughter. Impressed by how hardworking he is, the woman allows him to wed her daughter — but what are his true intentions?