Flannery O’Connor: The South’s Greatest Storyteller

Flannery O’Connor is known for short stories such as A Good Man is Hard to Find, Revelation, and Good Country People. O’Connor was considered one of the greats during the 20th century, but unfortunately we know very little about her. However, we do know some bits and pieces, so let’s take a look at what we know about the very private author.


Photo: The Daily Beast

The famous author was born on March 25th, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. The O’Connor family lived in Savannah until tragedy struck. Flannery’s father was diagnosed with lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disorder that is commonly caused by inflammation. Flannery’s father passed away while she was just a teenager, forcing the family to relocate to Milledgeville in 1938.

When O’Connor graduated from high school she went on to attend the Georgia State College for Women, which is now just known as Georgia College and State University. Flannery then went on to work towards her Master’s degree at the University of Iowa, where she studied creative writing.

In 1946, Flannery saw her first short story, The Geranium, published in a magazine called Accent. Although Flannery O’Connor is known for her unique short stories, she published her first novel, Wise Blood, in 1952. Each chapter of Wise Blood  stood on its own as a short story. Many of them were even previously published. Wise Blood followed a man named Hazel Motes and his return home from the military. With the success of Wise Blood, Flannery continued to write, publishing enough stories that would eventually make up the collection A Good Man is Hard to Find, which was published in 1955.

Unfortunately for Flannery, she inherited much more from her father than anyone would have wanted. She struggled with lupus erythematorsus for more than a decade. The famous author died from her disease on August 3rd 1964 in the town of Milledgeville.

Although we don’t know much of her life, we do know that she lived a modest and successful life. She wrote many stories that were filled with religious themes that continue to resonate with many modern readers.