Flannery O’Connor (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: In her short lifetime, Flannery O’Connor created a small but significant body of fiction and nonfiction unique in American literature, Southern literature, Catholic literature, and feminist literature.
Mary Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, on March 25, 1925, the only child of Edward Francis O’Connor, Jr., and Regina Cline O’Connor, both of whom came from prominent Southern Catholic families. Flannery was a happy, sensitive, and independent child. When she was twelve, her father became critically ill with disseminated lupus, a rare and incurable metabolic disease, and the family moved from Savannah into the Cline home in Milledgeville, which formerly had been the governor’s mansion (when Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia). Three years later her father died.
O’Connor attended Catholic elementary schools, Peabody High School, and Georgia College (then Georgia State College for Women) in Milledgeville, receiving an A.B. degree in 1945. While in college, she served as art editor and cartoonist for the school newspaper, editor of the literary quarterly, and feature editor of her yearbook.
She received a scholarship to study for an M.F.A. degree at the University of Iowa’s School for Writers, under the direction of Paul Engle. In 1946, while still a student, she published her first short story, “The Geranium,” in Accent magazine. She...
(The entire section is 1976 words.)
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