The peacock lady

This review of the new Flannery O’Connor biography isn’t all that good — Janet Maslin was never that incisive a critic of movies, and her skill set hasn’t broadened out now that she’s reviewing books — but it does offer a pretty good quote from one of O’Connor’s letters:

I come from a family where the only emotion respectable to show is irritation. In some this tendency produces hives, in others literature, in me both.

The book in question, Brad Gooch’s Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, is going on my birthday book list, even though the consensus among reviewers is that Gooch spends too much time linking events in O’Connor’s life with particular stories and novels. I’ve been waiting for somebody to improve on Jean Cash’s ho-hum biography, and it sounds like Gooch has at the very least done that. Whether he’s managed to do much more will be decided later on.

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