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Savannah, Georgia, 25 maart 1925 - Milledgeville, Georgia, 3 aug. 1964 • Amerikaans roman- en verhalenschrijfster en recensent
|Flannery O'Connor never married, never reared any children, never had a full-time job, and spent her free time raising a large flock of noisy peacocks. A little eccentric? Definitely. Still, despite all of her oddities, Flannery O'Connor produced some of the finest fiction ever to come out of the South. Although she passed away 35 years ago, her work is still studied in classrooms across the United States.
On March 25, 1925, Flannery became the first and only child of Edward Francis O'Connor and his wife, Regina Cline O'Connor. Edward owned Dixie Realty and Dixie Construction Co. in Savannah. In 1938, he became a zone real estate appraiser for the Federal Housing Administration in Atlanta. In the same year, Regina and Flannery moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, while Edward remained in Atlanta. When he retired, he joined his wife and daughter in Milledgeville, where he lived until his death on February 1, 1941. He died from complications of lupus.
Flannery attended various grammar schools, and later studied at Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College and State University). She served as editor of the Corinthian during her senior year, and worked on both the newspaper and yearbook staffs. Her humorous cartoons, which appeared in school publications, gained Flannery much attention from her peers. She graduated in 1945 with a BA in Social Sciences.
Following graduation, Flannery left Milledgeville and enrolled at the State University of Iowa in Iowa City. She participated in a Writer's Workshop program, which would earn her a master's degree in fine arts. While in the program, she wrote several poems, including 'Wildcat', 'The Coat', 'The Geranium', 'The Barber', 'The Turkey', and 'The Train'. In fact, 'The Train', which appeared in the Summer 1946 issue of Accent magazine, became her first published work. Flannery graduated in June
In 1948, Flannery left Iowa City for Yaddo, an artists' colony near Saratoga Springs, New York. The area was designed to provide a quiet place for artists to work; indeed, it was here that Flannery worked on her first novel, Wise Blood. Although she had planned to remain at Yaddo until March of 1949, she cut her stay short when the colony became embroiled in controversy. Agnes Smedley, one of the artists in residence, was accused of espionage, and the FBI arrived to investigate Yaddo. Eventually, Smedley's name was cleared, but Flannery never returned to Yaddo. Her time spent in New York was not in vain, for it was there that she met other writers, received encouragement and criticism on her work, and met Robert and Sally Fitzgerald, who became her lifelong friends.
Soon after leaving Yaddo, Flannery O'Connor learned that she had lupus, the same disease that had claimed her father's life. Knowing she had little time, Flannery dedicated herself to her writing, giving up on any notion of marriage and children. She moved to Andalusia, a quail farm owned by her uncle, and settled in to a secluded life. She spent her time writing fiction, penning thousands of letters, and tending to her flock of fowl. Although she disliked travel, especially since the lupus had left her dependent on crutches, Flannery also accepted all the speaking invitations she was offered.
Lupus finally claimed Flannery O'Connor's life on August 3, 1964. Her gravestone lies next to her father's in a Milledgeville cemetery.
In her short lifetime, Flannery O'Connor published two novels, 32 short stories, and many reviews and commentaries. Her writing also earned her many awards and much acclaim. She is remembered by many, including Alice Walker, as one of the South's greatest writers.
|HET OEUVRE VAN FLANNERY O'CONNOR:|
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