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Wise Blood

Flannery O’Connor

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Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor’s first novel, is the story of Hazel Motes who, released from the armed services, returns to the evangelical Deep South. There he begins a private battle against the religiosity of the community and in particular against Asa Hawkes, the ‘blind’ preacher, and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter. In desperation Hazel founds his own religion, ‘The Church without Christ’, and this extraordinary narrative moves towards its savage and macabre resolution.

‘A literary talent that has about it the uniqueness of greatness.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘No other major American writer of our century has constructed a fictional world so energetically and forthrightly charged by religious investigation.’ The New Yorker

‘A genius.’ New York Times

Critic Reviews

Not entirely sure what the occasion for the reissue of O'Connor's classic is, but it is welcome nonetheless. Peopled by a cast of near-comic grotesques, Wise Blood generates uneasy laughs and shivers in equal measure. O'Connor's marvellous use of the Southern Vernacular and her slanted way of seeing things distinguish her prose.

Suday Herald
Critic Reviews

The furious preacher is a familiar tale of America's deep south, but Hazel Motes, the young man at the heart of Flannery O'Connor's remarkable first novel... is different... O'Connor... sprinkles her 1952 novel with dark humour... but this is still a novel about a serious search for redemption.


Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) was born in Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Catholic parents. In 1945 she enrolled at the Georgia State College for Women. After earning her degree she continued her studies on the University of Iowa’s writing program, and her first published story, ‘The Geranium’, was written while she was still a student. Her writing is best known…

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