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Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

by O'Connor, Flannery

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New York. 1969. Farrar Straus Giroux. 1st American Edition. Some Discoloration to Top Edge, Otherwise Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Selected and edited by Sally and Robert Fitzgerald. 237 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Guy Fleming. FROM THE PUBLISHER - At her death in 1964 Flannery O’Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures, as well as a number of criti1cil articles that appeared in scattered publications during her lifetime. MYSTERY AND MANNERS presents selections from these two categories of her occasional prose, and is thus the first books of non-fiction by Flannery O’Connor. The contents were selected and edited by Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, whose lifelong friendship with the author originated at the start of her literary career. The book opens with ‘The King of the Birds.’ her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. There are three essays on regional writing, including The Fiction Writer and His Country’ and ‘Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction; three on the nature and aims of fiction, including ‘On Her Own Work; two on teaching literature, including Total Effect and the Eighth Grade; and four on the writer and religion, including ‘The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South. The fourteenth and concluding piece is the long essay she wrote as an introduction to A Memoir of Mary Ann. As the editors point out, Flannery O’Connor felt that her principal calling was to write stories. On the other hand, she knew that those concentrations of experience and invention have their place in real contexts, literary, regional and religious, that could and should be examined and discussed. She had a gift for this, too. Her papers not only complement her stories but are valuable and seminal in themselves. The modest confidence with which she spoke was justified.. inventory #41440


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