Who said: "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it"
- Mary Flannery O'Connor, in a letter written September 6, 1955


Mary Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) was an American novelist and short-story writer; and the first fiction writer born in the twentieth century to have her works collected and published by the Library of America.

An only child, her father died of lupus when she was 15, which was a devasting loss for the self-described "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex."

Long before her first story was published, Mary achieved passing fame by teaching a chicken to walk backwards - a feat that was filmed by Pathé News and shown around the USA. She once said, perhaps somewhat tongue in cheek, "When I was six I had a chicken that walked backward and was in the Pathé News. I was in it too with the chicken. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been anticlimax."

After graduating from Georgia State College for Women, she attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 1951, at just 26 years of age, she was diagnosed with lupus and returned from Connecticut to her family's farm in Geogia where her mother still lived. During the following fifteen years, up until her death at 39 years old, she wrote her two novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away; and most of the stories that are collected in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge.

A devout Catholic, she collected books on Catholic theology and, despite her failing health, sometimes gave lectures on faith and literature. She also raised all sorts of birds including peafowl (more commonly known by the male bird's designation, peacocks); and corresponded widely with a number of people. One frequent correspondent was her best friend, Betty Hester, who received a weekly letter from O'Connor for more than a decade. Some of this correspondence is collected in The Habit of Being. The complete collection of unedited letters between O'Connor and Hester was given to Emory University in 1987 under the stipulation that they not be made publicly available for twenty years - they were unveiled by the university in 2007.

In her memory: The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, awarded by the University of Georgia Press, is given annually to an outstanding collection of short stories.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Women of Troy
    The Women of Troy
    by Pat Barker
    Set in the liminal days following the Trojan War, The Women of Troy follows Briseis, who the reader ...
  • Book Jacket: The Magician
    The Magician
    by Colm Toibin
    Thomas Mann — the subject of this biographical novel by Colm Tóibín — is ...
  • Book Jacket: Cloud Cuckoo Land
    Cloud Cuckoo Land
    by Anthony Doerr
    Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land may be even more remarkable than his Pulitzer-prize winning work ...
  • Book Jacket: The Turnout
    The Turnout
    by Megan Abbott
    'We grew up together,' Dara finally repeated. But Marie only looked at her and said quietly, '...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Flesh & Blood
    by N. West Moss

    This beautifully written memoir offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Win This Book!
Win Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

L Said, S M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.