Generous Orthodoxy  

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flannery ascendant

Not long ago I read in some literary journal that Flannery O'Connor's star was sinking, that her insistent Christian "dogmatism" was wearying people. Well, how about this, just in today (this is from The New York Times:

Among the National Book Awards winners named on Wednesday night whose names may elude you, one honoree you’ve almost certainly heard of is Flannery O’Connor. In an online poll conducted by the National Book Foundation, her collection “The Complete Stories” was named the best work to have won the National Book Award for fiction in the contest’s 60-year history. The competition was steep: other finalists in the poll were “The Stories of John Cheever,” William Faulkner’s “Collected Stories,” “The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty,” Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” and Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow.” (Then again, the O’Connor book bested some formidable contenders when it won the fiction prize in 1972, including John Updike’s “Rabbit Redux,” Walker Percy’s “Love in the Ruins” and E. L. Doctorow’s “Book of Daniel.”) This year’s National Book Award for fiction was won by Colum McCann’s “Let the Great World Spin.”

Can't you just hear the sardonic voice of Miss O'Connor responding to this?

Good Christian readers, rejoice!