Quotes

Flannery O’Connor: Queen of One-Liners

October 31, 2019

Flannery O’Connor really is a fiction-writing queen, and she’s great for celebrating on Halloween. Her short stories — like “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Revelation” — are creepy and violent and full of zingers.

If you’ve never read one of her short stories, I definitely recommend the ones above (they’re perfect for the Halloween-horror mood). And if you still don’t have a costume for tonight, you can dress up as The Misfit.

To give you a little background for the quotes, O’Connor was from Georgia, and studied writing at the University of Iowa. She was well established in her beliefs and had a lot of opinions on writing. Her words — in both her stories and her nonfiction writing — are incredible.

I hope you enjoy these great one-liners. Maybe memorize a few in case you ever need to put someone in their place the O’Connor way.

Flannery O’Connor Quotes


“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

― In a letter to Betty Hester

“She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity.”

― Good Country People

“I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.”

―  The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.”

―  Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

“People without hope not only don’t write novels, but what is more to the point, they don’t read them.”

― Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

“If you know who you are, you can go anywhere.”

―  Everything that Rises Must Converge

“I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.”

―  The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

“In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.”

―  Wise Blood

“Total non-retention has kept my education from being a burden to me.”

―  The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

“You have to quit confusing a madness with a mission.” 

― The Violent Bear it Away

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