Prayer Journal

ISBN-10: 0374236917
ISBN-13: 9780374236915
Edition: N/A
List price: $18.00 Buy it from $6.50
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Description: "I would like to write a beautiful prayer," writes the young Flannery O'Connor in this recently discovered prayer journal . Written from 1946 to 1947, when O'Connor was far from home and a student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, this journal is an  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 11/12/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 112
Size: 6.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.836

"I would like to write a beautiful prayer," writes the young Flannery O'Connor in this recently discovered prayer journal . Written from 1946 to 1947, when O'Connor was far from home and a student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, this journal is an extraordinary portal into the interior life of the great writer. Not only does it reveal the deeply entwined nature of O'Connor's yearning for God and literary inspiration but it also shows her carefully working out a singular relationship to God. "I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life; but I have been saying them and not feeling them. My attention is always fugitive. This way I have it every instant. I can feel a warmth of love heating me when I think & write this to you."     O'Connor is plain about her literary ambition: "Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted," she writes. Yet she struggles with any trace of self-regard: "Don't let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument of Your story." O'Connor's prayers are so intensely imaginative that she seems to will God into existence-it was no coincidence that she began writing the stories that would become her first novel, Wise Blood, during these years. Profoundly moving and original, A Prayer Journal is a record of a brilliant young woman's coming of age, a cry from the heart for love, grace, and art.

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia. She had a quiet, bookish life as a child before attending Georgia State College for Women and going on tot he Writers Workshop at the State University of Iowa, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. Her 1949 dissertation consisted of six short stories, one of which she developed into her first novel, Wise Blood (1952). Wise Blood is the story of a fanatical, wandering preacher who sets out to found a "church of truth without Jesus Christ crucified." The book introduces some of the religious themes that run throughout O'Connor's later work. Her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away (1960), is the story of murder involving a Tennessee backwoods preacher and a small boy. Once again, O'Connor explores unusual manifestation of religion and human eccentricities. Although O'Connor produced only a small body of work during her relatively brief lifetime, she has received much critical attention. O'Connor suffered from lupus, an inherited disease, which crippled her and cut short her life, and so her creative work was largely compressed within a decade of the 1950's. Her father also dies of Lupus when she was 15 years old. O'Connor is frequently praised as being the most creative and distinctive writer of this period. The two most notable aspects of her fiction are its religious themes and its commentary on the oppressive traditions of the mid-twentieth-century Deep South.

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