Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith  -     By: Angela Ailamo O'Donnell
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Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith

Liturgical Press / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

"To the hard of hearing you shout," exclaimed O'Connor, "and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." By depicting society's outcasts---the deformed, freaks, misfits---she held up a critical mirror to contemporary attitudes. O'Donnell offers this penetrating biography of perhaps America's pre-eminent Catholic novelist. 120 pages, softcover. Liturgical Press.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 120
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0814637019
ISBN-13: 9780814637012
Series: People of God

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Publisher's Description

Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith tells the remarkable story of the gifted young woman who set out from her native Georgia to develop her talents as a writer and eventually succeeded in becoming one of the most accomplished fiction writers of the twentieth century. Struck with a fatal disease just as her career was blooming, O’Connor was forced to return to her rural home and to live an isolated life, far from the literary world she longed to be a part of.

In this insightful new biography, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell depicts O’Connor’s passionate devotion to her vocation, despite her crippling illness, the rich interior life she lived through her reading and correspondence, and the development of her deep and abiding faith in the face of her own impending mortality. She also explores some of O’Connor’s most beloved stories, detailing the ways in which her fiction served as a means for her to express her own doubts and limitations, along with the challenges and consolations of living a faithful life. O’Donnell’s biography recounts the poignant story of America’s preeminent Catholic writer and offers the reader a guide to her novels and stories so deeply informed by her Catholic faith.

People of God is a series of inspiring biographies for the general reader. Each volume offers a compelling and honest narrative of the life of an important twentieth or twenty-first century Catholic. Some living and some now deceased, each of these women and men has known challenges and weaknesses familiar to most of us but responded to them in ways that call us to our own forms of heroism. Each offers a credible and concrete witness of faith, hope, and love to people of our own day.

Author Bio

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell is a poet, author, and professor at Fordham University in New York City, where she teaches English, Creative Writing, and American Catholic Studies. She also serves as associate director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.  O’Donnell is a columnist at America magazine and writes on Books & Culture.

About the Series

People of God is a series of inspiring biographies for the general reader. Each volume offers a compelling and honest narrative of the life of an important twentieth or twenty-first century Catholic. Some living and some now deceased, each of these women and men has known challenges and weaknesses familiar to most of us but responded to them in ways that call us to our own forms of heroism. Each offers a credible and concrete witness of faith, hope, and love to people of our own day.

Editorial Reviews

With evident commitment, Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith traces continuing negotiations between a courageous life of prayer and an exacting aesthetic pursuit. A rich, insightful introduction to the life of an author whose ardent Christianity forged a breathtakingly original narrative art.
Richard Giannone, author of Flannery O'Connor, Hermit Novelist

As someone who has read and taught Flannery O'Connor's fiction continually for the past half century, I found myself riveted by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell's compact and highly readable biography of one of the twentieth century's most deeply fascinating writers. What O'Donnell has managed to do here is to get at the heart of the mystery of O'Connor's novels, short stories, essays and letters and to reveal the by turns dark and luminous Catholic faith that sustained and transformed her work throughout her too-brief life. The truth is I could not put O'Donnell's book down until I had read straight through it from beginning to end. It's all here-the scholarship, the critical insights, a Catholic writer's trenchant understanding of another Catholic writer to remind us that the spirit of Merton, Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, and O'Connor herself is alive and well today.
Paul Mariani, Boston College

How refreshing it is to read a biography of Flannery O'Connor that shows a deep understanding of her faith and treats it not as an idiosyncrasy to be dismissed as peripheral but as the primary motivator in her life and art. Professor O'Donnell has written an elegant and multi-dimensional portrayal of O'Connor as a fellow Catholic-in-exile.' This is a must-read for anyone interested in coming to a full understanding of the ways in which O'Connor's faith was not just the background but the driving force behind her vision.
Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, Author of Flannery O'Connor: A Proper Scaring, Wheaton College

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell has written a graceful, compelling biography of Flannery O'Connor whose fiction, she rightfully insists, constituted the inestimable contribution [she] has made to American Catholic literature, thought, and culture.' A devout Catholic, O'Connor wrote with the same fervor about her faith than she did her craft. Seamlessly moving from the life events in O'Connor's pilgrimage-the places she wrote, the friends she made, the sufferings she endured-into the characters, settings, and symbols of her stories, O'Donnell brings readers into that enlightened nexus where O'Connor's Catholicism explains and extolls her art. O'Donnell's biography is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how and why O'Connor's fiction with its violence, suffering, and mystery emerges from her Roman Catholic faith and practice.
Philip C. Kolin, University of Southern Mississippi, Editor, The Southern Quarterly

Flannery O'Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith would serve as an excellent introduction to her life and writings for anyone who has heard about Flannery O'Connor and wondered what all the fuss-and fervor-is about.
Rose Pacatte, FSP, Author of Martin Sheen: Pilgrim on the Way

This insightful biography explores both the writings of O'Connor and the deep Catholic faith that inspired her many celebrated works of fiction.
U.S. Catholic

The strength of O'Donnell's book, what makes reading it as enjoyable as dropping in on a senior seminar led by an expert professor, is the deep literary exegesis of O'Connor's work. Many of us have read O'Connor's stories at some point, and probably a visceral impression of the haunted characters remains with us. But O'Donnell plumbs each short story and novel, examples its meanings and relates the themes to profound Christian ones. Drawing on O'Connor's letters, O'Donnell helps the reader understand O'Connor's vocation as an artist and her embrace of her own suffering as a way to draw closer to God.
Eileen Markey, America

The O'Connor of this biography is entirely human, a woman with imperfections and limitations, but one who speaks with brilliance and warmth in O'Donnell's unprepossessing analysis. This inexpensive treasure is heartily recommended to academic libraries and all readers.
Catholic Library World

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