Friday, July 13, 2012

An Early Story

I know this isn't a geranium nor any flower you'd find in a self-respecting garden. It's a flower that exists, but only in my memory.

" The Geranium" by Flannery O'connor was one of her earliest short stories —written and published before she put together her MFA master's thesis. From 1946—1965 "The Geranium" underwent four re-writes or four versions. I expect that meant a fondness for the story.

When I lived in Maryland —in a neighborhood of southerners transplanted from Mississippi and Louisiana— a neighbor suggested I read Flannery and lent me a thick anthology of her stories.

I read the first story and kept going and began again. This early story isn't as powerful or artfully written as later work, but it's the seed.

All her stories tapped into something—grace, redemption, a way of seeing the world.


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