A Prayer Journal

Flannery O'Connor, edited by W. A. Sessions. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $18 (112p) ISBN 978-0-374-23691-5
At age 20, Catholic writer O'Connor moved from Georgia to Iowa City to enroll in graduate school. While in Iowa, she created what editor Sessions, an emeritus English professor at Georgia State University, terms a "prayer journal"—heartfelt odes to God, scribbled in a black-and-white composition notebook. At the outset of the journal, O'Connor makes clear that she has not abandoned the "traditional prayers" of the church; she simply wants to supplement them with prayers she feels more deeply. Throughout, O'Connor bemoans her inability to love God as she feels she should. She also prays about writing, asking that a Christian sensibility would pervade her writing, and asking that God would help her remember that she is not the ultimate author of her work, but an "instrument" for the words God gives her. In his illuminating introduction, Sessions suggests that although the prayers appear "spontaneous," they were in fact astutely crafted and reveal a masterful writer at work. Both O'Connor devotees and students of the life of Christian prayer will find this slender volume, which contains a facsimile reproduction of the journal, only recently discovered, a wonderful addition to their library. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 11/12/2013
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Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-374-70969-3
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