Flannery O’Connor’s short stories are set more than half a century ago, but they remain relevant to our time as records of the conditions from which our current culture arises and as illustrations of the evils brought about by prejudices we have not yet entirely put behind us: de facto segregation, fewer educational and employment opportunities for the poor and/or black, and lingering disparities in health and wealth. O’Connor leaves her readers to decide how best to move forward, but she makes it clear that clinging to the old ways leads only to our physical and metaphysical peril.

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