Flannery O’Connor
The Imagination of Extremity

Frederick Asals


"Asals's study is an investigation of the dynamics of O'Connor's imagination, and as such it is one of the most complex, challenging, and intellectually exciting studies of her work yet to appear. . . . A superb and penetrating analysis."
Flannery O'Connor Bulletin

"To my taste, the most impressive book [of O'Connor criticism] published to date. . . . Asals is especially helpful because, unlike the horde of critics who expound a static deductive vision on O'Connor's part, he traces her growth toward the relative serenity of her later work."
New York Review of Books

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This study explores the dualities that inform the entire body of Flannery O'Connor's fiction. From the almost unredeemable world of Wise Blood to the climactic moments of revelation that infuse The Violent Bear It Away and Everything That Rises Must Converge, O'Connor's novels and stories wrestle with extremes of faith and reason, acceptance and revolt; they arch between cool narrative and explosive action, between a sacramental vision and a primary intuition of reality.
Page count: 280 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about Flannery O'Connor at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


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Frederick Asals is a professor of English at New College, University of Toronto.