Though she is often overlooked, there is no doubt that Flannery O’Connor was one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. In her short stories and her short novels she exhibits a mastery of storytelling and a depth of insight into human nature and the relationships between human beings that rivals those typically placed on a list of greats. Had her literary output been greater, as it is relatively meager in comparison with others of her stature, and had her life been longer, as she died at the young age of 39 just as she was writing her greatest works, she might have displaced Twain as the great American author.
One of my greatest joys while reading the stories in this book was that I was able for a few of the short stories to sit in one of the beautiful squares in downtown Savannah, Georgia, with her childhood home to one side of me and the Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on my other side. It was a joy to sit among the sights which no doubt made an impression on her early consciousness while taking in her erudite examination of mankind via storytelling.
I recommend O’Connor’s work to anyone interested in reading truly wonderful literature.