June 1, 2012
AUDIO: Flannery O’Connor reads “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
by Dennis Johnson
There are very few recordings of the great short story writer Flannery O’Connor. But here’s one (courtesy of Openculture.com). It was made in April of 1959, from a reading O’Connor gave at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
As far as I can tell, there are only two other recordings of O’Connor available online, and they’re both pretty great. Another, slightly clearer recording of O’Connor reading “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” recorded in 1957 when she appeared at Notre Dame University, is available here.
And here, O’Connor reads her 1960 essay “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction,” in which she says, “I have found that anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the Northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him at @mobylives