Reading List: Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal

Flannery

Emily Perper is a word-writing human working at a small publishing company. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

Known for her grotesque short stories, mythic personality and Southern Catholic faith, O’Connor’s prayer journal ends in her 22nd year, before, as Casey N. Cep writes in The New Yorker, “the literature itself was a prayer.”

“Flannery O’Connor’s Desire For God.” (Jen Vafidis, The Daily Beast, November 2013)

O’Connor believed that any fiction that revealed her own character would be inherently awful writing. In her prayer journal, she critiques her own ideas of love and faith and success, covering oatmeal cookies and metaphysics.

“God’s Grandeur: The Prayer Journal of Flannery O’Connor.” (Carlene Bauer, The Virginia Quarterly Review, November 2013)

Intermixed with excerpts from O’Connor’s letters, this tender review focuses on her seemingly one-dimensional attitude toward human love and clarifies its nuance.

“Inheritance and Invention: Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal.” (Casey Cep, The New Yorker, November 2013)

Casey N. Cep has fast become one of my new favorite writers. In this excellent review, Cep emphasizes that O’Connor’s prayer journal was a highly internal affair, both a way to get at a more authentic relationship with God and work through her blossoming writing career.

***

Photo: Will

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.

Mike Dang
Mike is the managing editor at Longreads, and the editor of The Billfold. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications.