The Complete Stories

By Flannery O'Connor,

Book cover of The Complete Stories

Book description

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction.

There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Complete Stories as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Georgia-born Flannery O’Connor gifted the world with dozens of stories, which can be read individually or collectively.

Set on farms, in small towns, and off-the-beaten path, she colorfully explores both people and places, inviting readers along to do the same. Some stories are folksy, some are humorous, and some are dark, but one thread is constant: her highly individualized style is built on strong literary conventions.  

Southern Gothic author Flannery O’Connor is an incredible storyteller with characters often described as grotesque and morally flawed. Having been raised in the South, I find her characters so real it is as if I know them or have met them personally.

I know she disliked any of her stories being labeled ‘horror’ and instead called them ‘hard’. But you have to admit that a lot that happens naturally in life is indeed ‘horror’, so I use the term as a high compliment to her. But that alone would be too much, so she tempers it with her sardonic wit…

From Thersa's list on a mix of wry humor and real horror.

Flannery O’Connor was one of the best American short-story writers and totally obsessed with God and questions of belief. In her story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” she paints an unforgettable portrait of the Misfit, a murderous criminal tortured and infuriated by religious doubt. Without concrete evidence of God’s existence, the Misfit feels free to go on a killing spree, exacting vengeance on a deity that refuses to reveal itself. In “Revelation,” a self-satisfied believer is confronted with a vision of Heaven that looks nothing like what she’d expected. O’Connor uses shock and Gothic horror to jolt readers…

From Mark's list on to help you decide if God exists.

I turn from a brooding Irish context to a Southern Gothic context, and still the narratives here will rip into everything you hold dear, to the point where you are no longer sure who you are to begin with. This is a good thing, as none of us should be content with who we vainly think we are. 

"'Wait here, wait here!' he cried and jumped up and began to run for help toward a cluster of lights he saw in the distance ahead of him. 'Help, help!' he shouted, but his voice was thin, scarcely a thread of sound.…

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