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Wise Blood

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Book Details

Title:Wise Blood
O'Connor, Flannery   
(2 of 2 for author by title)
The violent bear it away
Published:   1949
Publisher:Harcourt, Brace and Company
Tags:fiction, religion, Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time (2003), film/TV adaptation

Flannery O’Connor’s astonishing and haunting first novel, is a classic of twentieth-century literature. It is a story of Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate faith. He falls under the spell of a "blind" street preacher named Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter, Lily Sabbath. In an ironic, malicious gesture of his own non-faith, and to prove himself a greater cynic than Hawkes, Hazel Motes founds The Church of God Without Christ, but is still thwarted in his efforts to lose God. He meets Enoch Emery, a young man with "wise blood," who leads him to a mummified holy child, and whose crazy maneuvers are a manifestation of Hazel's existential struggles. This tale of redemption, retribution, false prophets, blindness, blindings, and wisdoms gives us one of the most riveting characters in twentieth-century American fiction.--Goodreads. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:130 Info

Author Bio for O'Connor, Flannery

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Flannery O'Connor, neé Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925—August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, reviewer and commentator. Although she only wrote 2 novels and 32 short stories, she won numerous literary awards and grants, several O. Henry awards, and had her first novel listed on the Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time.

The first novel, Wise Blood, received mixed reviews initially but later became a John Huston-directed movie. A novel of spiritual quest, Wise Blood presents the male "pilgrim", Hazel Motes, as inhabiting a sterile and ugly modern landscape derivative of T. S. Eliot's Waste Land.

Her first short-story collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, made her Christian vision and darkly comic intent clearer to readers and allowed them to more easily grasp the intent of her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away. A second collection of stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge, published posthumously in 1965, contains some of O'Connor's most popular short fiction, including the title story and "Revelation."

O'Connor was a Roman Catholic who was born and lived in the Bible Belt of the Deep South, though her fiction is largely concerned with fundamentalist Protestants, many whom she admired for the integrity of their search for Truth. Her recurrent characters are spiritually lean and hungry figures who reject mere lip service to Christianity and the bland certainty of rationalism in their pursuit of salvation.

O'Connor died of lupus at the young age of 39.

—New Georgia Encyclopedia.

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