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Everything That Rises Must Converge by…

Everything That Rises Must Converge (original 1965; edition 1965)

by Flannery O'Connor

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1,680344,252 (4.22)169
Title:Everything That Rises Must Converge
Authors:Flannery O'Connor
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1965), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Southern Fiction

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Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor (1965)



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I read/listened to A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories and Everything That Rises Must Converge back-to-back and have to say that I found the tone of this book a bit softer than A Good Man. While both books share a dearth of characters vying for sainthood, this last volume written before her death at least seems to offer some hope for humanity. Still O'Connor’s prose offers us an insight into the human condition that is unparalleled in American literature. As Thomas Merton said after her death in 1964, “I write her name with honor, for all the truth and all the craft with which she shows man’s fall and his dishonor.”

I suspect that her stories will stay with me for many years to come. Some, like the tragic The Lame Shall Enter First, may never leave me.

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
*5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
*4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
*3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered great or memorable.
*2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
*1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire. ( )
1 vote Unkletom | Mar 13, 2016 |
My first taste of this author. Interesting dark humor. I want to read something else by her. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
"Everything that Rises Must Converge" is a collection of Flannery O'Connor's short stories. Some of these were familiar to me.... I know we read a few in high school and I've probably read some in short story collections over the years.

O'Connor's stories focus on the deep south and on questions of race. Her characters are all unlikeable and troubled, and the stories usually have a turning point where the characters basically get what's coming to them. Sometimes this is incredibly effective, other times it seems pretty obvious where the story is going.

I like her work, but often had a hard time discerning what the overall message is supposed to be. It was very uncomfortable to read so many stories with the n word uttered over and over... so perhaps they aren't aging well. ( )
1 vote amerynth | Apr 28, 2015 |
My first Flannery O'Connor, and now I know where Olive Kitteridge comes from. There is something in the style and her character portrayal that I can trace right back to these O'Connor characters.
It's a collection of stories Flannery O'Connor was working on when she died. They are all exceptionally good and deal with the South, race and morality. They are occupied by the bygone world of people, stragglers who haven’t noticed that the world had moved forward and left them behind. It's as if they couldn't help themselves. They are the world the world left behind. We perceive them as bigoted and obnoxious but they can only be pitied as they are much more lost in it than anybody else. ( )
1 vote Niecierpek | Feb 28, 2015 |
A collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor, often violent with Southern themes of racism and religion. The flawed characters populate almost every story and most end violently. The author writes well therefore I give it 3.5 stars. I listened to the audible edition read by several narrators. They did a good job of making these stories "Southern".

Everything That Rises Must Converge: The title of the book and first story. This story is of a college graduate who lives with his mother because he can’t make enough to live on his own. Violence.
The title Everything That Rises Must Converge refers to a work by the French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin titled the "Omega Point": "Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.
Greenleaf: a woman owns a farm. Mr Greenleaf works for her but she feels he is worthless but her own sons will not help with the farm. They are lazy and disrespectful. Mr. Greenleaf’s sons bull keeps coming on her property and she wants Mr. Greenleaf to kill the bull. Violent ending.
A View Of The Woods: A grandfather owns land and keeps selling it. His youngest granddaughter is his favorite and he thinks she is just like him until he sells the ‘lawn’. Violent.
The Enduring Chill: a son who has been living in NYC returns to his mother’s home to die of what he is sure is a fatal illness. He really is a son who has failed to be what he had aspired to be. This one is not so violent, somewhat funny conclusion.
The Comforts Of Home: another man living with his mother. She brings home a juvenile delinquent girl. Son is angry, wants her removed from the home. Violent ending.
The Lame Shall Enter First: A widowed man and his young son who has not gotten over the death of his mother. This man spends time on other delinquent boys and neglects the needs of his own son. Sad violent ending.
Revelation: woman gets beat up by another girl in the doctor’s waiting room. This story is about seeing society through our own prejudices. Interesting story.
Parker's Back: A man with an obsession to get tattoos
Judgement Day: Old man goes North to live with his daughter. Tries to treat a Northern black man like he treats blacks in the South. This ends violently. Tanner just wants to get back South alive or dead.

O’Connor states this about her writing; "All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal."—Flannery O'Connor
I look forward to reading more by O’Connor. Short story is not my favorite format but her writing is good, though violent and characters are flawed. Ms O’Connor was a faithful Roman Catholic. ( )
1 vote Kristelh | Mar 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flannery O'Connorprimary authorall editionscalculated
O'Connor, Flannerymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374504644, Paperback)

Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:03 -0400)

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Nine stories of the fierceness and struggle of life among white people in the new South.

(summary from another edition)

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