What Do I Read Next?
- Flannery O'Connor's "Everything that Rises Must Converge," first published in 1964, and included in the 1965 short story collection of the same title, comprises such themes as acculturation, aging, death and dying, disease and health, and the African-American experience. Set in the newly integrated South of the 1960s, it tells the story of Julian, a recent college graduate who is too attached to his mother. His prejudiced mother suffers a stroke during an incident with a black woman, and Julian feels the overwhelming effects of his dependency.
- "The Lame Shall Enter First," another short story included in the Everything that Rises Must Converge collection, weaves a disturbing story of a father's misdirected love, and his son's resulting suicide. The widowed father and grieving son seek solace beyond each other's embrace and are both influenced by a disturbed and disfigured young man who claims to be under Satan's power.
- A Good Man is Hard to Find is the title story of O'Connor's 1955 short-story collection by the same name. Originally published in 1953, the story is about a self-centered, smug grandmother and her family, who are traveling through the South, where a murderer is rumored to be hiding. When the family wrecks the car, three men confront them; Grandmother recognizes the murderer as "The Misfit." He kills the rest of the family first and then toys with Grandmother's emotions before killing her.
- William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, published in 1930, influenced O'Connor's thinking and writing. Told in a stream-of-consciousness style using grotesque characterization, the story explores the nature of grieving, community, family, and society.
- Nathaniel West's writing also influenced Flannery O'Connor's thinking and style. She recommended Miss Lonelyhearts, in particular, to her friends. Published in 1933, the novel concerns a male newspaper columnist who tries desperately to give advice to the lovelorn. When he becomes involved with one of his correspondents, he is killed.