Wise Blood

By Flannery O'Connor,

Book cover of Wise Blood

Book description

Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor's first novel, is the story of Hazel Motes who, released from the armed services, returns to the evangelical Deep South. There he begins a private battle against the religiosity of the community and in particular against Asa Hawkes, the 'blind' preacher, and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter.…


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Why read it?

3 authors picked Wise Blood as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

William Faulkner might have been the father of Southern Gothic, but Flannery O’Connor was the master. This is one of those books that makes you thankful for genius. Because everything about this book is genius. The story is about a young man named Hazel Motes who struggles to avoid his relentless fate. O’Connor’s writing is filled with religious extremism, grotesqueness, and mental illness—all the things that make America great. If I could have written a single book—this would be it.  

From Jon's list on that are relentlessly twisted.

Georgia writer Flannery O’Connor makes me cackle and cringe at the same time. Her debut novel Wise Blood is rich with dark satire and cutting humor, disappointment with the modern world, and profound pity for it. After his release from the military, Hazel Motes turns atheist street preacher in an absurd and ultimately horrifying struggle with his own beliefs. To promote his “Church Without Christ,” a mummified dwarf is swiped by Enoch Emery, a troubled young man who impersonates movie star gorilla “Gonga” so that someone might shake his hand. 

From Lee's list on contemporary Southern Gothic.

Arguably one of the best writers who ever lived, O’Connor’s voice was totally original, her richly atmospheric stories set in the American deep south. She died at thirty-nine but left a body of work that makes her immortal. Of the writers I read over and over, she tops the list. If you don’t know her work, Wise Blood is an excellent introduction. The cast of characters includes a bitter returning WW2 vet, Hazel Motes, who starts his own non-religion, a blind preacher who is not blind at all and who hoodwinks the rubes with his teen daughter as his partner-in-crime,…

From Eleanor's list on if great writing is your reason to live.

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