I wrote the syllabus for my composition class in early August. Because of the way holidays and the school’s fall break fell, I wanted to fill yesterday’s class with something a little out of the ordinary, before we jump into a full-week discussion of a novel next week.
So I assigned Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” which is one of several O’Connor stories in our anthology. It turned to be great timing, because I was really too sick yesterday to do much teaching–a bad cold at its peak–and so instead, I played a recording of O’Connor reading the story and also reading an excerpt from her essay about The Grotesque in Southern Literature (which you can find in the Library of America volume of her complete works).
I first heard these recordings this summer at Sewanee and had a little trouble locating them on the internet, but I found them at this blog: The Morning Oil: Flannery! It’s pretty special to hear this story in her voice.