MARY FLANNERY O'CONNOR was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Edward F. and Regina Cline O'Connor.She attended St. Vincent's Grammar School and Sacred Heart Parochial School until the family moved to Atlanta in 1938. That same year Flannery and her mother moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, where she attended Peabody High School.Her father remained in Atlanta until 1940, when he retired to Milledgeville until his death, from complications of lupus, in 1941.
After graduating from Georgia State College for Women in 1945, O'Connor attended the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, receiving an M.F.A. in 1947. Her first published work, a short story titled " The Geranium," appeared in Accent in 1946. In 1949, O'Connor studied writing in New York City, and chapters from her first novel, Wise Blood, were published in Partisan Review. O'Connor suffered her first attack of lupus in December 1950; although the progress of the disease was slowed by the use of drugs, it would eventually kill her. In 1951, she returned to Milledgeville to a farm her mother inherited called Andalusia. She would remain there with her mother the rest of her life, living modestly, raising peafowl.
Wise Blood was published in 1952, a novel that, in O'Connor's words, examines "the religious consciousness without a religion." With the publication of A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories ( 1955) O'Connor was recognized as a master of a peculiar category of literature. Her grotesque and violent stories, written "from the standpoint of Christian orthodoxy," reflect both an inclination to the absurd and what has been called "a caustic religious imagination." Her articles and book reviews, published in various academic, religious, and literary journals, reflect her broad philosophical interests.
O'Connor's last novel, The Violent Bear It Away, was published in 1960. Published posthumously were a collection of stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge ( 1965), and Mystery and Manners ( 1969), occasional prose edited by Sally and Robert Fitzgerald.A collection that includes several previously unpublished stories, The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor ( 1971), won the National Book Award in 1971. The Habit of Being ( 1979), a volume of O'Connor's collected letters, won the Board Award of the National Critic's Circle in 1980. Among her many other prizes, O'Connor received a Kenyon Review Fellowship for fic