Monday, December 2, 2019

Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton — reading recommendations

From The Georgia Bulletin:
The deluge of scholarship related to Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton continues. Not long ago, Daniel Moran’s fine book “Creating Flannery O’Connor” provided excellent context and insight into the ever-growing cult of all things O’Connor, and Daniel Alexander’s “Good Things Out of Nazareth,” just published, collects more than a hundred previously unpublished letters by and about O’Connor. Bishop Robert Barron has made a Pivotal Players film on O’Connor, and Elizabeth Coffman and Mark Bosco’s “Flannery” becomes the second feature documentary on O’Connor after Bridget Kurt’s “Uncommon Grace.” Just last month, after they read my column on Thomas Merton and Corpus Christi Church, a book arrived by Hugh Turley and David Martin, “The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation,” which deeply explores the mysterious circumstances surrounding Merton’s death. And each week a friend sends links—to films, articles, books and essays swirling in the digital ether. I have finally run out of room for Merton and O’Connor books! So before they are lost in the swamp of secondary material related to these two outstanding writers, I want to share with you two out-of-print books—companion pieces—that are indispensable to anyone passionate about Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton.
Personal Postscript — Like the author of the article, I have accumulated many books about Flannery O’Connor. Someday I will explain my obsessive commitment to all things by and about the Abbess of Andalusia. For now, if you are new to O’Connor and wonder where you should begin, I recommend the Conversations collection as a companion while reading O’Connor ‘s stories, correspondence, essays, speeches, and reviews; at the same time, don’t miss Brad Gooch’s biography.

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