Published January 24, 2021
Flannery O’Connor is primarily known for her sardonic Southern Gothic short stories that were usually set on religious views and grotesque characters in violent situations. She published two books of short stories: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge and two novels Wise Blood (made into a film by John Huston, released in 1979)) and The Violent Bear It Away.
What many people don’t know is that O’Connor was a deft cartoonist. She originally wanted to be an artist and she collected her early comics which display many of the story-telling techniques that she later used in her writing. When she was about five, O’Connor began creating small books, and writing comical sketches. She also contributed artwork to school publications throughout high school and college where she earned a reputation as a cartoonist before she became a renowned writer. The artwork she began developing in the 1940s exudes its own magic and reveals exceptional talent as a diverse creator. Her cartoons are mostly done in pen and ink and linoleum cuts. They often poke humor at student life and depict the impact of WWII.
Flannery O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia. She won the 1972 US National Book Award for Fiction for her Complete Stories. She also has had several books of other writings published and her lasting influence is attested by a growing body of scholarly studies of her work. In 1952, O’Connor was diagnosed with lupus and would spend her days writing in the mornings and recuperating and reading for the rest of the day. Despite the debilitating effects of the steroid drugs used in her treatments, she completed more than two dozen short stories and two novels. She died on August 3, 1964 at the age of 39.