Published On: Sun, Aug 3rd, 2014

The Brutal Grace of Flannery O’Connor

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Southern writer, Flannery O’Connor. Below is a recording of her reading her short story, A Good Man Is Hard To Find.

“I am tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man Is Hard to Find brutal and sarcastic,” Miss O’Connor wrote before her death. “Grace changes us and change is painful.”

Miss O’Connor was a Catholic writer living in the deep South who suffered from lupus – a painful illness that ultimately took her life at the age of 39. Her characters often encounter violent or humiliating situations that test their faith, but just as often grants them a moment of transcendent grace.

In this remarkable recording, Miss O’Connor rings out the humor of the story and shows how grace – a Christian virtue – can spring forth even in the most dire of situations.

This was recorded at Vanderbilt University in 1959. Her southern accent is very thick, but the audience clearly enjoys her performance.


About the Author

- Robert Maley has worked in publishing, banking and – as incongruent as it may seem – the theatrical world. After many years of living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he now resides in the more pastoral setting of Virginia. A playwright with an MFA from Columbia University, he has had several plays produced off-off-Broadway. Presently, he is a critic of the Cultural Marxism to which he once allied, especially as it pertains to the arts, faith and academia.