Radical Ambivalence: Race in Flannery O'Connor

Radical Ambivalence: Race in Flannery O'Connor

by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell

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Radical Ambivalence is the first book-length study of Flannery O’Connor’s attitude toward race in her fiction and correspondence. It is also the first study to include controversial material from unpublished letters that reveals the complex and troubling nature of O’Connor’s thoughts on the subject. O’Connor lived and did most of her writing in her native Georgia during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. In one of her letters, O’Connor frankly expresses her double-mindedness regarding the social and political upheaval taking place in the United States with regard to race: “I hope that to be of two minds about some things is not to be neutral.” Radical Ambivalence explores this double-mindedness and how it manifests itself in O’Connor’s fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823288250
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Series: Studies in the Catholic Imagination: The Flannery O'Connor Trust Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell is a professor, writer, and poet at Fordham University and the Associate Director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. Among her recent books are Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith (Liturgical, 2015) and Andalusian Hours: Poems from the Porch of Flannery O’Connor (Paraclete, 2020).

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations | ix

Introduction: Two Minds | 1

1 “Whiteness Visible”: Critical Whiteness Studies and O’Connor’s Fiction | 13

2 Race, Politics, and the Double Mind: Flannery’s Correspondence versus O’Connor’s Fiction | 36

3 Theology, Religion, and Race: Constant Conversion and the Beginning of Vision | 70

4 “Africanist Presence” and the Role of Black Bodies | 97

5 The Failure and Promise of Communion | 125

Acknowledgments | 145

Works Cited | 149

Index | 155

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