Why? Possibly the greatest woman short story writer of all time.

Flannery O’Conner was native to the state of Georgia. She died at age 39. She wrote only two novels and 32 short stories. Yet she made an impact as deep as the bed of the Savanah River.

Some characterize her style as “Southern Gothic,” which might be defined as, “moody and haunted southern culture.” O’Conner’s ardent Catholicism runs through her works. She often uses character who are physically disabled and of limited understanding and contrasts this with greater spiritual themes.

Okay. I don’t want to make it complicated. Her stories are wonderful. She knew people, she saw their flaws and their greatness.

When she was in her late teens she was diagnosed with lupus. At certain times in life, this made her an invalid. But she pushed through with her work, traveled and lectured. Late in her short life, she visited the Catholic shrines in Rome. As she said it, she prayed, “not for my bones but for my books.”

I recommend her short story collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find.

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