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A Good Man is Hard to Find
by Flannery O’Connor
This week on the Tales from the Library Book Club we will be reading 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'. The story is a Southern gothic short story first published in 1953 by author Flannery O'Connor who, in her own words, described it as "the story of a family of six which, on its way driving to Florida from Georgia, gets wiped out by an escaped convict who calls himself 'the Misfit'.
The story remains the most anthologized and most well-known of all of O'Connor's works even with its enigmatic conclusion that involves a dialogue between a serial killer, tormented by the suffering of mankind and himself for what he considers the injustices in both secular and divine laws, and a superficial, mischievous, morally-flawed, Methodist grandmother dressed as an old fashioned Southern lady. She stumbles into a way that makes The Misfit doubt what he is doing just for the moment before he murders her, and in pity for his torments, she demonstrates in an act of mercy that all good Christian mothers, like God, love all God's children no matter what the children do.
About the Author
Mary Flannery O'Connor was born March 25, 1925 and died on August 3, 1964. She was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. 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 sardonic Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters, often in violent situations. The unsentimental acceptance or rejection of the limitations or imperfections or differences of these characters (whether attributed to disability, race, crime, religion or sanity) typically underpins the drama.
Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and has been the subject of enduring praise.
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