What Flannery Recommends: Authors

Part 2: Which authors that Flannery O’Connor recommends

“I suffer from generalized admiration or generalized dislike.”

 The Habit of Being by Flannery O’ Connor p. 241

In The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor (August 1, 1988) edited by Sally Fitzgerald, lovers and students of literature are treated to a rare treat, this 640 volume that contains her passing comments, recommendations and critiques on over 100 titles.

  • For books on the craft of writing that Flannery O’Connor recommends reading, click here.

We are sharing those recommendations with you now.

What Flannery Recommends, author recommendations from The Habit of Being

There were certain authors Flannery O’Connor read and referenced regularly. When a correspondent asked her for guidance on what to read, O’Connor knew how to respond.

All the Catholic novelists

the best Southern writers:

The Russians:

She write she “learned something from” these:

Joseph Conrad

“I’m a great admirer, read almost all his fiction”:

James, Henry

This may affect my writing for the better without my knowing how/ read almost all of, when I read James, I feel something is happening to me, in slow motion but happening nevertheless/I identify with James’ felt life and not with any particular moral system.

Kafka, Franz

I think reading a little of him perhaps makes you a bolder writer.

To read “What Flannery Recommends” on the craft or writer, click here.
Check back next week for more recommendations.

Honorable Mention

de Chardin, Teilherd

Weil, Simone (life)

About the life of Simone Weil: “is the most comical life I have ever read about and the most truly tragic and terrible”

O’Connor, Frank. Frank O’Connor


Celine, Louis Ferdinand.

He did feel life at a moral depth—or rather that his work made me feel life at a moral depth; what he feels I can’t care about