Sundays, March 5–April 9, 2017 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Flannery O’Connor died at age 39 with one of the most thoughtful, intriguing, and complex bodies of work in all of American literature. Her obsessions with religion, morality, and the South Gothic are evident in all 32 of her short stories and come into full expression in her posthumously published final collection Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965). She said of her work: “The stories are hard, but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism.” Because of the depth and relative difficulty of her writing and ideas, her stories are best read slowly and with intentional focus on themes, setting, and metaphors. This seminar will pull O’Connor’s final collection in close and look at it with a clarifying eye. We will delve deeply into just 1-2 stories each week in order to dissect, discuss, and consider how they intersect and amplify each other and what they can tell us more generally about the world of Flannery O’Connor.
Guide: Sara Guest is an editor and poet. Her previous work has included being an editor for Encyclopaedia Britannica, producer for Harpo Studios (Oprah’s Book Club), and program coordinator for Write Around Portland. She is currently the creative manager for Swaim Strategies. Sara has an MA in English from Case Western Reserve University.