- The Complete Stories © 1971
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- 555 pages
I was racking my brain to come up with the perfect superlative to describe O’Connor’s short stories and nothing fits better. All of the recurring themes—racism, murder, loss, pain, religious fanaticism—are written with an edge that can make you physically wince while reading.
This collection is no chore to read, though. Once you acclimatize yourself to her slowed down style of plot development, the thoughts and dialogue of the characters command your attention.
Speaking of characters, O’Connor’s are larger-than-life yet completely believable. Read one of these stories on a park bench somewhere and you will see the characters stumble past you.
Flawed humanity has never looked so beautiful.