A Circle in the Fire & Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Introduced by C.E. Morgan
Illustrated by Deanna Staffo
12 September 2013, £29.95
The Folio Society has compiled a unique selection of seventeen of Flannery O’Connor’s coruscating, plain-speaking short stories. In a compelling introduction, American author C. E. Morgan, selected as one of the New Yorker’s prestigious ‘20 Under 40’, explores the stories’ ‘reenactment of … violent grace’ and their uncompromising, idiosyncratic wisdom. Deanna Staffo’s powerful illustrations capture O’Connor’s Southern settings and macabre, surrealistic style.
‘Flannery O’Connor leaves the reader appalled, moved and deeply impressed by a literary talent that has about it the uniqueness of greatness.’ Sunday Telegraph
Flannery O’Connor grew up in a Roman Catholic family in Savannah, Georgia. The first fiction writer born in the 20th century to have her works collected and published by the Library of America, she stated that her writing was ‘an expression of her religious commitment’. Her characters are torn between the sensory and the spiritual, many of them gripped by morbid preoccupations as they attempt unsuccessfully to unite these dual impulses.
Warped park guard Enoch Emery performs ritualistic tours, spying on female bathers and aggravating the animals at the zoo, awaiting the sign that will tell him to reveal the ‘mystery’ at ‘The Heart of the Park’. Many are fanatics, like the blind preacher in ‘The Peeler’. They, and their stories, are comic-grotesque, intertwining glimpses of the transcendental world with physical and psychological horror. This selection includes ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’ and ‘Everything that Rises Must Converge’, two of O’Connor’s best-known works.