The Curiously Strange Flannery O’Connor

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The writer Flannery O’Connor posing with self portrait

Brad Gooch’s rapt, authoritative “Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Conner” is the first major biography of a “mystical, ornery, ardently admired Southern writer” who died 44 years ago at the age of 39.

 

She spent the last 13 years of her life in Milledgeville, [GA]
most of them on crutches, her bones and joints ravaged by lupus.
She died of lupus, her father as well. Sometimes she painted.
Describing her self-portrait with a pheasant cock, she wrote:
“I very much like the look of the pheasant cock. He has horns
and a face like the Devil. The self-portrait was made . . .
after a very acute siege. . . . I was taking cortisone which gives you
what they call a moon face and my hair had fallen out to a large extent
due to the high fever, so I looked pretty much like the portrait.
When I painted it, I didn’t look either at myself in the mirror
or at the bird. I knew what we both looked like.”

 

New York Times

 

 

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~ by eaesthete on 03/02/09.

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