Friday, January 17, 2014


From The American Reader-

Following the publication of A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor received a note from a young woman named Betty Hester telling her that God was the book’s central subject. Amid the flurries of reviews calling O’Connor’s book cruel and sarcastic, Hester’s letter was welcome reading. It ignited a nine-year friendship and a prolific correspondence. Faith and religion was their dominant focus. A devout Catholic, O’Connor even persuaded Hester to join the church, acting as her confirmation sponsor. Below, O’Connor discusses the merits of late-in-life baptisms and her early fights with angels.

To Betty Hester

17 January 1956

I’m never prepared for anything. I felt sure you were 7ft. tall and ash blonde and you turn out to be dark and shaped like a ginger beer bottle and I have been equally positive that you were a Pantheist in good standing with whatever they’re in good standing with and now you allow you’re as orthodox as I am if not more. More, I suppose, as baptism is something you choose and I had it thrust upon me. To my credit it can be said anyway that I never considered you unbaptized. There are the three kinds, of water, blood, and desire, and with the last I thought you as baptized as I am. So that may be the reason I a have nothing to say about this when I ought to say something. All voluntary baptisms are a miracle to me and stop my mouth as much as if I had just seen Lazarus walk out of the tomb. I suppose it’s because I know that it had to be given me before the age of reason, or I wouldn’t have used any reason to find it.

More here-

No comments: