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Flannery O'Conner

Mary Flannery O'Conner was one of the century's finest writers of short stories. She was born in Savannah and lived with her mother in Milledgeville, Georgia, for most of her life. She attended St. Vincent's Grammar School, and Sacred Heart Parochial School. She spent most of her childhood years in depression. Flannery died before her 40th birthday at the age of 39. She (Flannery) was a victim, like her father, of lupus, which spread throughout her body. She got the disease in 1950 while at work on her first novel, but injections of a hormone managed to control it. Though the hormone weakened her bones to the extent that from 1955 on she could only get around on crutches. She was still able to write, travel, and lecture. She was a Roman Catholic throughout her life.
Flannery published 2 novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It All (1960), both had symbolic and religious concerns and clever skill in black-humored manner of Nathaniel West, her American predecessor. But her really memorable creations of characters and actions take place in the stories, which are very funny.
A typical Flannery O'Conner story consists at it's most important level in people talking, the repeating of cliches about life, death, and the universe with beautiful quality by an artist who had spent her life listening to them, lovingly and spiteful keeping track until she could put them to use.
Early in her life she hoped to be a cartoonist. In her other gesture there are cartoon like mastery. Critics have called her a maker of grotesques a label that other ones-regionalist, Southern lady, or Roman Catholic novelist might have annoyed if it didn't amuse her too.
O'Conner seldom suggest that her characters have inner lives that are believable, also known with respect. Instead, the importance is on the sharp eye and ability to tell a tale and keep it moving toward the finish. These women must confront an experience that she can not handle by the old known language and habit-becoming responses.
O'Conner's art lies partly in making it impossible for us to look down upon the dullness of expression and behavior by which these people bet through their lives. One of her best ones was titled "Revelation."

Flannery O'Conner died at the age of 39 in 1964, when the lupus came back by itself and killed her.

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