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First published in 1955,The Violent Bear It Awayis now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul. O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not.
Flannery O'Conner was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her power.
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"I am sure her books will live on and on in American Literature" --Elizabeth Bishop
"There is very little contemporary fiction which touches the level of Flannery O'Connor at her best." --Alan Pryce-Jones, New York Herald Tribune