Magazine November 11, 2019, Issue

A New Collection of Letters Feeds the Hunger for More Flannery O’Connor

Sketch of Flannery O’Connor from the cover of Good Things Out of Nazareth (Convergent Books)
Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor & Friends, edited by Benjamin B. Alexander (Convergent Books, 416 pp., $35)

When we find something beautiful or true or too good to be forgotten, we desire more, to fill our pockets to overflowing and our hearts to the breaking point. Readers flock to the bookstore and pre-order with impatience the latest from a beloved author. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman sold a million copies in week one. And every time new essays by C. S. Lewis are discovered, they are printed. Consider another iconic writer — Flannery O’Connor. Although semi-popular while she lived, selling around 15,000 copies of her first novel, O’Connor was awarded the National Book Award posthumously for

This article appears as “Among Friends from Nazareth” in the November 11, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Jessica Hooten Wilson is an associate professor of humanities at John Brown University, where she directs a graduate program in classical Christian studies. She is the author of books on Flannery O’Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Walker Percy.

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