Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist. An important voice in American literature, she wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. Her writing also reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics.
O'Connor's Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was named the "Best of the National Book Awards" by internet visitors in 2009.
O'Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Edward F. O'Connor, a real estate agent, and Regina Cline. She described herself as a "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex." When she was six, living at a home still standing, she experienced her first brush with celebrity status. The Pathé News people filmed "Little Mary O'Connor" with her trained chicken, and showed the film around the country. She said, "When I was six I had a chicken that walked backward and was in the Pathé News. I was in it too with the chicken. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been an anticlimax." In 1937, her father was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. It led to his eventual death on February 1, 1941, and the 15-year-old O'Connor was left devastated...
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