My review of The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor is up over at the National Book Award website that's celebrating 60 years of its fiction prize by taking new looks at each winner. The NBA Foundation is awarding a new prize to the fan favorite this fall.
… As a complete testament to O’Connor’s life work, this collection is cut
as hard and as many-sided as a diamond. And yet, alongside her vaulting
vision, O’Connor is unusually attentive to the physical. It has perhaps
gone out of fashion for fiction writers to give so much space to the
way a character rolls tobacco and hangs a cigarette on his upper lip,
or a toothless woman gumming seeds during dusk on her splintered front
porch. But it is through such penetrating and constant sight on the
dirty fingernails of human life that O’Connor’s fiction transcends.
I've got a few more reviews coming up for the National Book Award's project. Stay tuned.