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Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch
Flannery is Brad Gooch's biography of the Southern writer Flannery O'Connor. Working from letters between O'Connor and her friend Betty Hester as well as traveling to the locales where O'Connor lived, Brad Gooch has pieced together the relationships and experiences that formed both her writing and her short life (she died of lupus when she was 39). Her work has often been listed under the Southern Gothic genre, yet it was rife with insight, intelligence, and humanity. Flannery has received positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "O'Connor's readership and reputation have grown ever stronger in the four-and-a-half decades since her death. No doubt this has much to do with the frequency with which her work is assigned in high school and college courses, but it also reflects her growing popularity in the general readership. Whether Gooch's conscientious, respectful biography will bring new readers to her work is doubtful, since literary biographies rarely sell as well as their authors and publishers wish, but readers who already know that work will be glad to have it."