Book Recommendation: Flannery O’Connor (on sale)

One of the most amazing American short story collections is on sale for 2.99: A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor.

If you have not read it, please do yourself a favor. If you’ve read it, or her Complete Stories (which is what I own), talk to me. If you decide to buy it, let me know!

The list of included stories (with links to their Wikipedia stories: (racial slur censored here by me, but not on Wikipedia or in the book):

The titular story was taken from the blues song sung by Bessie Smith and written by Eddie Green (lyrics below).

“My heart’s sad and I am all forlorn, my man’s treating me mean
I regret the day that I was born and that man of mine I’ve ever seen
Happiness, it never lasts a day, my heart is almost breaking while I say
A good man is hard to find, you always get the other kind
Just when you think that he is your pal, you look for him and find him
Fooling ’round some other gal
Then you rave, you even crave to see him laying in his grave
So, if your man is nice, take my advice and hug him in the morning, kiss him ev’ry night,
Give him plenty lovin’, treat him right
For a good man nowadays is hard to find, a good man nowadays is hard to find
We always get that roughed ol’ kind
Just when you think that he’s your pal
You go and find him hangin’ ’round some old gal
Then you rave, how you crave
You wanna see him dead layin’ in his grave
So if your man is nice, take my advice
Hug him in the morning, kiss him at night
Give him plenty love madam, treat your man right
Cause a good man nowadays sure is hard to find”

Sufjan Stevens wrote a song by the same title, not to be confused by the Eddie Green original. Steven’s song was influenced by O’Connor’s story. So Green and Smith influenced O’Connor, who influenced Stevens. Song influenced story influenced song. I love it. Stevens wrote the lyrics from the character of the Misfit. They’re below; don’t read if you haven’t read the story yet:

Once in the backyard, she was once like me, she was once like me. Twice when I killed them, they were once at peace, they were once like me. Hold to your gun, man, and put off all your peace, put off all the beast. Paid a full of these, I wait for it, but someone’s once like me. She was once like me. I once was better. I put off all my grief. I put off all my grief. So I go to hell, I wait for it, but someone’s left me creased. Someone’s left me creased.

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