Conversations with Flannery O'Connor

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As this collection of interviews shows, Flannery O'Connor's fiction, though bound to a particular time and place, embodies and reveals universal ideas. O'Connor's curiosity about human nature and its various manifestations compelled her to explore mysterious places in the mind and heart. Despite her short life and prolonged illness, O'Connor was interviewed in a variety of times and locations. The circumstances of the interviews did not seem to matter much to O'Connor; her approach and demeanor remained consistent. Her self-knowledge was always apparent, in her confidence in herself, in her enterprise as a writer, and in her beliefs. She could penetrate the surfaces; she could see things in depth. Her perceptions were wide-ranging and insightful. Her interviews, given sparingly but with careful reflection and precision, make a unique contribution to an understanding of her fiction and to the evolving narrative of her short but influential life. Dr. Rosemary M. Magee is Vice President and Secretary of the University at Emory University.