The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Recordings of Flannery O'Connor

Some time ago a friend passed along a link to several audio recordings of Flannery O'Connor that were apparently made not long before her untimely death in August of 1964 from complications of Lupus. I have been trying to find some recordings of her voice for years, but could locate only brief soundbites apparently taken from longer recordings. For me, a long-time fan, these two recordings are a God-send.

O'Connor was, as you will discover when you hear her voice, a Southern girl; indeed, a very Southern girl, who spent much of her adult life on the family farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Her work is unique in American literature, and one recording is of her reading one of her better known stories, "A Good Man is Hard to Find." The other is of a lecture she gave at the University of Notre Dame. Here are the links to the site where they can be downloaded:

O'Connor's Notre Dame Lecture on the "Grotesque in Southern Literature"

O'Connor reading "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

I hope you enjoy listening to this remarkable woman.

A few years ago, on one of our trips between New England and Florida, Diane and I spent some time in Milledgeville. Among the places we visited was Andalusia, where we met Mary Barbara Tate, a lovely woman who knew O'Connor well and graciously shared some of her experiences with us. She even gave me a lovely print of O'Connor's self-portrait painted in 1953 when she was in her late twenties. Below is a copy...
As always, I took dozens (hundreds?) of photographs during our visit and have included one of the farmhouse at Andalusia (below), which I recommend visiting if you're ever driving through Georgia and looking for something worthwhile to do. I also took a photo of her grave site in Milledgeville.

The equipment near the front steps would be used later that day for a lecture and reception we attended along with a surprisngly large number of other Flannery lovers.


  1. These are wonderful - thanks very much for sharing. Are there any others that you might be able to share?

  2. Sorry for the delay in responding, but I've been away from home on a cruise for the past week or so. To answer your question, I know of no other Flannery O'Connor recordings on the web, but if I come across any I'll be sure to post the information on my blog. Blessings, Deacon Dana