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Gothic Literature in Special Collections

An overview of Gothic Literature held in Special Collections at Hornbake Library

Brief Biography

Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925- August 3, 1964) was an American author whose novels and shorts stories were typically written in the Southern Gothic style. Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. O'Connor’s work is particularly steeped in the Grotesque, a subgenre of Gothic literature. Characters with physical deformities feature heavily in the Grotesque. Often their physical disfigurements serve as markers of a corrupt moral compass and readers engage in the discrepancy between perceived "normalcy" and the realities beneath that assumption. 

The Literature and Rare Books collection holds correspondence between Flannery O'Connor and author Katherine Anne Porter in the Katherine Anne Porter papers. The correspondence is of a personal nature and might not directly mention O'Connor's work but were written while O'Connor was writing many of her well-known works. Linked below is the finding aid for the collection which gives more detail about the collection.