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Flannery O'Connor: O'Connor Timeline

Guide to researching Flannery O'Connor

O'Connor Timeline

Flannery O'Connor Timeline


March 25, Mary Flannery born to Edward Francis and Regina O'Connor in Savannah, Georgia.

1930 Pathe News films O'Connor and her chicken she had taught to walk backwards.

O'Connor moves to Milledgeville with her family and attended Peabody Girls High School, Milledgeville, Georgia. (Earned a High School Diploma).


Attended Georgia State College for Women (GSCW), Milledgeville, Georgia. (Earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Social Science). During this time, O'Connor served as an art editor of the campus newspaper The Colonnade and editor of the literary magazine The Corinthian.


Mary Flannery shortened her name to simply Flannery O'Connor.


Participated in the Writer's Workshop of the University of Iowa, supervised by Professor Paul Engle. She graduated with a Master's of Fine Arts.  Also during this time, O'Connor began work upon he first novel, Wise Blood.

1946 O'Connor publishes her first piece of fiction entitled, "The Geranium,"  in Accent.

O'Connor awarded the Rinehart-Iowa Fiction Award for her short stories, a few which would become chapters in Wise Blood.  O'Connor completed her Master's Thesis, entitled The Geranium: A Collection of Short Stories. This collection includes the stories entitled "The Geranium," "The Barber," "Wildcat," "The Crop," "The Turkey," "and "The Train." 

1948  O'Connor is invited to the small artist's colony of "Yaddo" in Sarasota Springs, New York, where she moved and  continued her work on Wise Blood.
1949-50 March 1949, due to controversy in the Yaddo community, O'Connor moved to a New York City apartment, only to move shortly thereafter to the Fitzgerald's home in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she continued work upon Wise Blood. 
Dec. 1950 O'Connor is diagnosed with disseminated lupus erythematosus, for which she received intensive treatment from Emory University Hospital of Atlanta.
1951 Because of her illness, O'Connor moved to the family farm north of Milledgeville named "Andalusia." 
1952 O'Connor's first novel, Wise Blood, published by Harcourt, Brace & Company of New York. O'Connor also receives the Kenyon Review fellowship.  She completes "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" and "The River."
1953 O'Connor's renowned short story, "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," published in a collection entitled Prize Stories 1954: The O. Henry Awards.
1954-55 O'Connor reappointed the Kenyon Review fellow in January for her remarkable accomplishments in fictional literature.
June 6, 1955 O'Connor's collection of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Other Stories is published by Harcourt, Brace & Company of New York, NY.   This marks O'Connor's first published short story collection and sells "unexpectedly well," with some 4,000 copies sold in three printings by September 1955.

O'Connor also receives the Georgia Writers Association Literary Achievement Award.  A Good Man Is Hard To Find published in paperback by New American Library.


O'Connor also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant of $1,000. O'Connor's short story entitled "Greenleaf" wins the O. Henry Award and is honored as the Best American Short Story of 1957. O'Connor's alma mater, the Georgia State College for Women, awarded her the Alumnae Achievement Award. She begins working on a novel, tentatively entitling it The Violent Bear It Away.  Also, a film adaptation of O'Connor's story "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" starring Gene Kelly is released for television.


In April, O'Connor commenced a journey to Europe as part of the Lourdes Centennial Pilgrimage.  O'Connor's cousin Katie Semmes insisted on paying for Flannery's trip, which signified the only trip to foreign lands attempted by the author.  This trip included a personal audience with Pope Pius XII in Rome.  O'Connor returns May 9 from her travels, and promptly resumed work on the first draft of The Violent Bear It Away.

1959 O'Connor rewrites and expands middle section of her second novel The Violent Bear It Away.  Begins writing "The Azalea Festival" and finishes "The Comforts of Home.  Flannery also receives an $8,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for literary accomplishments.
1960 O'Connor's second novel, The Violent Bear It Away, is published by Farrar, Strauss and Cudahy on February 8 and receives mixed reviews.  By September, this novel is also being published in England.  She begins a story entitled "Parker's Back."
1961 O'Connor works on the story "The Lame Shall Enter First," specifically after criticism from a colleague, Caroline Gordon.  A Memoir of Mary Ann, which O'Connor wrote the introduction, is published by Farrar, Strauss and Cudahy on December 7.  
1962 O'Connor's short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge" honored in The Best American Short Stories of 1962 and wins the O. Henry Award the same year.  O'Connor also receives the Georgia Writers Conference Literary Achievement Award.  Flannery's novel entitled Wise Blood was reissued by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy of New York, NY. Begins work on a new novel tentatively titled Why Do the Heathen Rage? 
1963 O'Connor awarded an honorary degree (Doctorate in Literature) by Smith College of Northampton, Massachusetts.  Flannery halts work upon Why Do the Heathen Rage? to better focus upon her short story "Revelation," which she completes. O'Connor begins experiencing increasing pain and fatigue which is attributed to both her lupus and extreme anemia. Upon undergoing iron treatment, O'Connor's joints show signs of improvement.  However, shortly prior to Christmas Flannery collapses and spends over a week confined to her bed.  
1964 "Revelation" appears in Sewanee Review during the spring.  O'Connor is also honored with the Henry Bellaman Foundation Award. In early February, doctors inform O'Connor her anemia is caused by a fibroid tumor.  Despite the high risk of reactivating her then dormant lupus, O'Connor accepts the decision to undergo surgery but insists the procedure be performed at Baldwin County Hospital in Milledgeville, Ga. Despite her condition, O'Connor continues to revise "Revelation," hiding drafts under her pillow for fear of being denied the ability to modify them. After leaving the hospital, O'Connor grows weaker from post-surgery infections and re-activated lupus. Before being admitted to Piedmont Hospital of Atlanta, O'Connor chooses the title for her second short story collection, entitling it Everything That Rises Must Converge.   Shortly thereafter, O'Connor learns her short story "Revelation" was awarded first prize in The O. Henry Awards.  O'Connor is re-admitted to Baldwin County Hospital at the end of July, where she promptly falls into a coma by August 2.  O'Connor passes due to kidney failure shortly after midnight August 3.  She is buried by her father in Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, Georgia on August 4.
1965 O'Connor's second published short story collection, entitledEverything That Rises Must Converge, is released by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in April.  The O. Henry Awards officially awarded the first prize story to O'Connor's story "Revelation."  
1969 O'Connor's old friends, Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, compile and edit some of the author's writings, entitling it Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. This work was published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux of New York, NY. 

The Fitzgerald family and O'Connor's editor, Robert Giroux, arrange for the publication the expansive collection entitledThe Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor.

O'Connor's mother, Regina Cline O'Connor, donates O'Connor's works and letters to Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.