The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
A Novel

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Synopsis

First published in 1955, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not.

 

About Flannery O'Connor

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Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. W. A. Sessions is the Regents’ Professor of English Emeritus at Georgia State University. He was a personal friend of O’Connor and has become a scholar of her work.
 
Published June 12, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, History, War. Fiction

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In her first novel — Wise Blood and in a collection of short stories — A Good Man is Hard to Find Flannery O'Connor manifested, along with her obvious talent, a penchant for the grotesque.

Oct 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Violent Bear It Away: A N...

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