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"A Georgian cannot of course be against Coca Cola. We feed it to our babies, serve it to our guests, console the dying with it and expect it to make us loved throughout the world."
- Flannery O'Connor, Good Things Out of Nazareth
A Literary Treasure from Award-Winning Author Flannery O'Connor
Edited by Benjamin B. Alexander
Benjamin B. Alexander was born in Wilmington Delaware and grew up on a family peach farm in Ridge Spring, South Carolina. He attended public schools in North Carolina, graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee), and later earned an interdisciplinary doctorate in literature and political theory. A dynamic classroom teacher with over 40 years of experience, he was tenured on two different college faculties and has also served as a consultant to three government agencies in Washington. Dr. Alexander has lectured widely on American, medieval, and African-American literature, as well as political theory and public policy. He currently is crafting a critical study of Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, August Wilson, and Shakespeare, as well as reviewing the unpublished essays of Walker Percy and Ralph Ellison for possible publication.
About The Author
Flannery O'Connor is a master of 20th-century American fiction, joining, since her untimely death in 1964, the likes of Hawthorne, Hemingway, and Faulkner. Those familiar with her work know that her powerful ethical vision was rooted in a quiet, devout Catholic faith that informed all she wrote and did.
Good Things out of Nazareth, a much-anticipated collection of many of O'Connor's unpublished letters, along with those of literary luminaries such as Walker Percy (author of The Moviegoer), Robert Giroux, Caroline Gordon (author of None Shall Look Back), Katherine Anne Porter (Ship of Fools), and movie critic Stanley Kauffmann, explores such themes as creativity, faith, suffering, and writing. Brought together they form a riveting literary portrait of these friends, artists, and thinkers. Here we find their joys and loves, as well as their trials and tribulations as they struggle with doubt and illness while championing their Christian beliefs and often confronting racism in American society during the Civil Rights era.
Lectures/Articles on Flannery's Uncollected Letters
By Benjamin B. Alexander:
"Flannery O'Connor, Friendship, and Politics"
Lecture given at the Conference, Flannery O'Connor among the Philosophers and Theologians, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, Fall 2011.
"Flannery O'Connor: Looking in from the Outside"
Article in Modern Age, Summer 2011.
"A Difficult Portrait of the Artist"
Article in Modern Age, Fall 2004.
"O'Connor's Unpublished Letters"
Lecture given at The Flannery O'Connor Faith, Fiction, and Fact Conference,
Southern Denmark University, Sandbjerg, Denmark, July 2002.
"If It's Just a Symbol, the Hell With It"
Apologetics in the Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Gerard Manley Hopkins
Lecture given at The Gerard Manley Hopkins International Festival,
County Kildare, Monasterevin, Ireland, July 2001.
A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor
"... explores the author's writings to reveal her central ideas about political thought in America. The contributors address topics such as O'Connor's affinity with writers and philosophers including Eric Voegelin, Edith Stein, Russell Kirk, and the Agrarians; her attitudes toward the civil rights movement; and her thoughts on controversies over eugenics."
By Edmondson III Ph.D., Henry T (Editor, Contributor)
Benjamin B. Alexander, "These Jesuits Work Fast: O'Connor's Elusive Politics"
Praise For A Political Companion To Flannery O'Connor:
Englewood Review of Books
"As a whole, this collection offers a wide-ranging treatment of the life and work of a woman who, while avoiding the topical, has managed to continually challenge readers from her own day to ours."
"In this excellent and informative compilation, O'Connor scholars provide invaluable insight into the political dimensions of the famed author's thinking and writing."
"This 398 page clothbound edition is a goldmine of perception articles by a wide variety of authors on the life, formation, thought and work of this seminal Southern author. A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor [is] enlightening, refreshing and pleasing... highly recommend this book!"
Joseph H. Lane Jr., coeditor of A Political Companion to Marilynne Robinson
"This volume outlines the major debates about O'Connor's work in a clear and accessible way for both O'Connor scholars and general readers interested in the intersections between politics and literature. The extensive use of O'Connor's recently opened correspondence [Benjamin B. Alexander, Ralph Wood] is particularly valuable"
Mark Bäuerlein, coeditor of The State of the American Mind: 16 Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism
"The Essays in this impressive volume nicely demonstrate why Flannery O'Connor's reputation continues to rise. The contributors bring their deep knowledge... to bear on O'Connor's stories, essays, and letters... In the future, this volume will be one of the first resources... for reading O'Connor and searching for scholarly guidance."
Robert Donahoo, coeditor of Flannery O'Connor in the age of Terrorism: Essays on Violence and Grace
"A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor is a strong collection of major critical voices that manages to offer both traditional and fresh readings of O'Connor's fiction. The essays' ... freshness lies in their consideration of her Christian positions in relation to political philosophy, actions, and communities."
A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements
"A resourceful and prolific heir to the Southern Agrarian movement... Bradford left a legacy of constitutional scholarship and literary achievement. He served as a professor of English at the University of Dallas... and was in 1980 a nominee to chair the National Institute of the Humanities under the Reagan Administration."
By Clyde N. Wilson (Editor, Contributor)
Benjamin B. Alexander, "The Faithful Heart: M.E. Bradford as Teacher"
Praise For A Defender Of Southern Conservatism:
The Abbeville Review, May 2019
"A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements is revolutionary in its implications ... As such, it is a major contribution to the national, not regional, discussion about this country, its past meaning, and its possible future. "
The Imaginative Conservative, February 2015
"M.E. Bradford the Agrarians Aquinas ... his work, as a whole, enriched and carried into new territory a broad front of literature, history, and political thought. Whether his topic is Faulkner... Patrick Henry ... Lincoln's speeches ... Lyndon Johnson, or Cromwell [Oliver], there is a consistent and deeply thought-out standpoint."
Southern Cultures, Summer 2000
"Bradord's literary gifts were astonishing. He wrote books of admirable erudition on southern literature, political philosophy, American history, and contemporary politics. One former student of his, Benjamin Alexander, perceived Bradford as "an American version of Samuel Johnson" ["The Faithful Heart"] and perhaps the most resourceful of many students taught by the original southern agrarians."
Book News, Inc., Spring 1999
"Ten articles by academics from the fields of english, political science, and history explore the thought and work of southern intellectual Bradford. The authors examine his contributions to literary criticism, constitutional history, and rhetoric."