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Biographical Information on Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor and Iowa City

Flannery O'Connor graduated from Georgia State College for Women in 1945. She left Milledgeville that same year to attend the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She studied under the direction of Workshop teachers Paul Engle, Andrew Lytle, and Austin Warren. While O'Connor was at the University of Iowa she wrote "Wildcat", "The Coat", "The Geranium", "The Barber", "The Turkey" and "The Train".

"The Geranium" was O'Connor's first published work, printed in the Summer issue of Accent magazine in 1946.  

O'Connor graduated from the University of Iowa in June of 1947 with a Master's degree in Fine Arts. After graduation, O'Connor remained in Iowa City and took a course in European literature. During her final year in Iowa O'Connor sold "The Turkey" to Mademoiselle magazine and "The Train" to the Sewanee Review.

O'Connor lived in Iowa City until the fall of 1948 when she was accepted as a guest writer at Yaddo, an artist retreat in New York.

In 1998 the University of Iowa celebrated Flannery O'Connor's life and writing with a three act performance of "Everything That Rises Must Converge," directed by Karin Coonrod. The University of Iowa's play combined O'Connor's three short stories: "Everything That Rises Must Converge", "A View of the Woods" and "Greenleaf," into a single production.

The performance ran November 5-15, 1998 in the David Thayer Theater and was sold out every night. If you attended one of the performances of "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and would like to share your thoughts and/or experience, please e-mail the Flannery O'Connor Collection.


For more information on O'Connor in Iowa City see:

  • O'Connor, Flannery. Collected Works. Ed. Fitzgerald, Sally. The Library of America, 1988.