464 pages, 9.5 × 6.32 × 1.42 in
February 25, 2009
Little, Brown And Company
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0316000663
ISBN - 13: 9780316000666
About the Book
In this engaging and authoritative biography, Gooch brings to life Flannery O'Connor's significant friendships and her deeply felt convictions, as expressed in her communications with Thomas Merton, Elizabeth Bishop, and Betty Hester.
From the Publisher
The landscape of American literature was fundamentally changed when Flannery O'Connor stepped onto the scene with her first published book,Wise Blood, in 1952. Her fierce, sometimes comic novels and stories reflected the darkly funny, vibrant, and theologically sophisticated woman who wrote them. Brad Gooch brings to life O'Connor's significant friendships--with Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, Walker Percy, and James Dickey among others--and her deeply felt convictions, as expressed in her communications with Thomas Merton, Elizabeth Bishop, and Betty Hester. Hester was famously known as "A" in O'Connor's collected letters,The Habit of Being, and a large cache of correspondence to her from O'Connor was made available to scholars, including Brad Gooch, in 2006. O'Connor's capacity to live fully--despite the chronic disease that eventually confined her to her mother's farm in Georgia--is illuminated in this engaging and authoritative biography.
PRAISE FOR FLANNERY
"Flannery O'Connor, one of the best American writers of short fiction, has found her ideal biographer in Brad Gooch. With elegance and fairness, Gooch deals with the sensitive areas of race and religion in O'Connor's life. He also takes us back to those heady days after the war when O'Connor studied creative writing at Iowa. There is much that is new in this book, but, more important, everything is presented in a strong, clear light." --Edmund White
"This splendid biography gives us no saint or martyr but the story of a gifted and complicated woman, bent on making the best of the difficult hand fate has dealt her, whether it is with grit and humor or with an abiding desire to make palpable to readers the terrible mystery of God's grace." --Frances Kiernan, author ofSeeing Mary Plain:A Life of Mary McCarthy
"A good biographer is hard to find. Brad Gooch is not merely good-he is extraordinary. Blessed with the eye and ear of a novelist, he has composed the life that admirers of the fierce and hilarious Georgia genius have long been hoping for." -- Joel Conarroe, President Emeritus, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation
About the Author
Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara,City Poet, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at<_st13a_placename _w3a_st="on">Columbia<_st13a_placetype _w3a_st="on">Universityand is Professor of English at<_st13a_placename _w3a_st="on">William<_st13a_placename _w3a_st="on">Paterson<_st13a_placetype _w3a_st="on">Universityin<_st13a_state _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">New Jersey.
"In his engaging, sympathetic, and yet intellectually scrupulous biography of O'Connor, Brad Gooch provides the ideal biographical commentary: his voice is never obtrusive, yet we feel his judgment throughout; his allegiance to his subject is never in doubt, yet we sense his critical detachment, especially in his tracing of the ways in which "Flannery"--as Gooch calls O'Connor--seems to have mapped out a strategy of survival for herself."-Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books