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Gooch (City Poet:The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara) offers a surprisingly bloodless biography of Flannery O'Connor (1925–1964), who, despite the author's diligent scholarship, remains enigmatic. She emerges only in her excerpted letters, speeches and fiction, where she is as sharp-tongued, censorious, piteously observant and mordantly funny as her beloved short stories. There is little genuinely interesting new material, but there are small gems—the full story of O'Connor's friendship with the mysterious A. of her letters, for instance. Perhaps mindful of the writer's dislike of being exposed in print, Gooch errs on the side of delicacy; he does not sufficiently explore her attitudes toward blacks and how the early onset of lupus left her sequestered on her mother's Georgia farm, without the male companionship she craved. Instead, he plumbs O'Connor's fiction for buried fragments of her daily life, and the revelations are hardly astonishing. Readers looking for more startling tidbits will be disappointed by this account that brims with the quiet satisfactions the author took in her industry (I sit all day typing and grinning like the Cheshire cat), her faith, friends and stoic approach to a debilitating disease. 16 pages of b&w photos.(Feb. 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10:  9780316018999
ISBN-13:  978-0316018999
Author:  Brad Gooch
Genre:  Literature & Fiction
Publisher:  Back Bay Books
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review by . May 06, 2013
A valuable contribution to the life and works of Flannery O'Connor.
Writers in general like to keep their lives private, or so I've been told, and when often asked about their personal lives, I've heard it said, You want to know me? Then know my books, and all your inquires will be answered; it's a blunt way of sidestepping the questions of the curious. Readers know authors indirectly through their works, perhaps their politics, their literary influences and also the thinly disguised episodes that happen to their literary characters. Actions as depicted …
review by . March 07, 2011
Writers in general like to keep their lives private, or so I've been told, and when often asked about their personal lives, I've heard it said, You want to know me? Then know my books, and all your inquires will be answered; it's a blunt way of sidestepping the questions of the curious. Readers know authors indirectly through their works, perhaps their politics, their literary influences and also the thinly disguised episodes that happen to their literary characters. Actions as depicted in novels …
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Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor
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