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It is a pity I can’t receive my own letters. If they produce as much wholehearted approval at their destination as they do at their source, they should indeed be able to keep my memory alive and healthy. — 19-year-old Flannery O’Connor

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Flannery O’Connor in 1947 (via Wikimedia Commons)

This January 22, 1944 entry from author Flannery O’Connor’s journal is now available to students and scholars—along with 30 boxes filled with letters, drafts, juvenilia, and other personal effects at Emory University’s Rare Book Library (MARBL). A separate archive of O’Connor’s short story and novel manuscripts is housed at her alma mater, Georgia College in Milledgeville, about 100 miles south of Atlanta.

The Emory collection, which includes over 600 handwritten letters to O’Connor’s mother, will be available immediately for research in the MARBL reading room.

The archive includes a collection of handmade books from O’Connor’s youth, notepads listing acceptances—and rejections—of her submissions to magazines such as The New Yorker and The Atlantic, typed manuscript pages of her novel Wise Blood marked with hand written corrections, and other artifacts such as photographs, eyeglasses, and drawings.

Long recognized as one of most important voices in American fiction, O’Connor died from complications of lupus in at the age of 39.  Read her short stories, “The Comforts of Home“, “The Lame Shall Enter First“, and “Revelation“, the last of which was published by the Sewanee Review only months before her death, in their original format on JSTOR.


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The Kenyon Review, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Autumn, 1960), pp. 523-546
Kenyon College
The Sewanee Review, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Summer, 1962), pp. 337-379
The Johns Hopkins University Press
The Sewanee Review, Vol. 72, No. 2 (Spring, 1964), pp. 178-202
The Johns Hopkins University Press