A Life of Flannery O'Connor
By Brad Gooch
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 9780316018999, 464pp.)
Publication Date: August 4, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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The landscape of American literature was fundamentally changed when Flannery O'Connor stepped onto the scene with her first published book, Wise Blood, in 1952.
Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara, City Poet, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey.
"Gooch comfortably traces [Flannery O'Connor's] fiction to its real-life roots in a meticulous yet seemingly effortless writing style, resulting in the definitive biography as well as providing the impetus for general readers to return to O'Connor's timeless fiction."—Booklist (starred review)
"Rapt, authoritative...What makes Flannery so valuable is the degree of intimacy with which it captures O'Connor's sensibility." —Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Gooch's biography is a marvel of concision but skimps on nothing.... If O'Connor's writing glows with edged comic genius, biographer Gooch is himself no slouch. If a library is to have only one book on Flannery O'Connor, this should be it. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
"Gooch is brilliant on [O'Connor's] fiction, passionate and smart, able to contextualize both the individual pieces and the scope of the career."—David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
"Excellent...Mr. Gooch's is patient and tactful with the publicity-shy and dauntingly complex O'Connor. His book is a welcome introduction to the quiet, narrow life of a fiercely funny and unnervingly powerful writer."—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"The story Gooch tells is amply shaded and evocatively detailed...It is a poignant, inspiring story of one brave, dedicated, brilliant writer."—Floyd Skloot, The Boston Globe
"It's incredible that this is the first biography of the great Southern writer Flannery O'Connor.... As Brad Gooch shows, her life was as dark and rich and dense with meaning as her fiction is."—Time
"Impressive. . . Gooch's account is meticulous."—The New Yorker
"This is one of those rare biographies that makes the writer almost as fascinating as what she wrote."—Charles Matthews, The Houston Chronicle
"In his engaging, sympathetic, and yet intellectually scrupulous biography of O'Connor, Brad Gooch provides the ideal biographical commentary."—Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books