A Prayer Journal

A Prayer Journal

Book - 2013
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"Written between 1946 and 1947 while O'Connor was a student far from home at the University of Iowa, A prayer journal is a rare portal into the interior life of the great writer. Not only does it map O'Connor's singular relationship with the divine, but it shows how entwined her literary desire was with her yearning for God"--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374236915
0374236917
Characteristics: xiii, 96 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Sessions, William A. - Editor

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dennismmiller
Sep 15, 2016

In 1946, 21 year old Flannery O'Connor moved from her home in Georgia to Iowa City, with the intention to study journalism. Instead, she fell in love with writing. In the meantime, she struggled to maintain and mature in her faith while living in an alien environment that was largely hostile to it. A Prayer Journal is a short journal in which she carried on her end of a conversation with God over the course of 21 months, during which time she also began writing Wise Blood.

The work is sometimes revealing, somewhat tragic, and occasionally funny (one is reminded of O'Connor's sharp wit when she regrets having over-criticized a fellow participant in a writing workshop). It feels a bit uneasy intruding into the intimate spiritual space of someone who was never comfortable with attention, but was, as these pages demonstrate, guiltily aware of her own desire for fame.

If this hadn't been written by Flannery O'Connor, it would be uninteresting - it was, after all, never intended for publication. As it is, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in her or her writing, although no doubt less valuable than Habit of Being. The book includes a transcript of the journal entries along with a mimeographed reproduction of the pages themselves.

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1aa
Jan 10, 2015

Soft, subtle, truthful, intimate, and ruthless.

patienceandfortitude Jan 24, 2014

If you love Flannery O'Connor this little book will wow you. We see her spiritual life up close and marvel at her wisdom at such a young age. God must have gotten such a kick out of her demand to be made a mystic immediately! Yet, she was also very humble and feared her own lack of talent and intelligence. It is humbling to read, as well as delightful.

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