Georgia College & State University

Special Collections at Ina Dillard Russell Library

Milledgeville, GA

Collection: Flannery O’Connor Collection at GC&SU holds thirty-four series of correspondence, more than sixty books, two thousand articles, and three hundred doctoral dissertations on or about Flannery O’Connor (Boyer). The collection also holds several hundred books and journals from O’Connor’s private library, six thousand pages of manuscripts, her drawings and linoleum block prints, childhood memorabilia, photographs, films, furniture, and an extensive file of clippings related to her life and work.

Arrangement: The collection of correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically within each folder.

Paul Barrus was a faculty member in the department of English at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas.O’Connor visited Barrus when she traveled to Louisiana and Texas in November 1962 as part of a series of speaking engagements.One letter from O’Connor to Barrus dated July 1963 invites him to Andalusia.

George Beiswanger, a dance critic and Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State College for Women (GSCW), encouraged O’Connor to apply to a graduate writing program at the University of Iowa (CW 1240). The Beiswanger folder contains two letters and one Christmas card from O’Connor, all dated 1952.O’Connor mentions in her letter that she had applied for and received a Kenyon Review Fellowship in Fiction. She also thanks Beiswanger for writing a review of Wise Blood, and states that, while she liked the review, she disagrees with some of his interpretations.Included in this collection is a forty-nine-page essay on Wise Blood by Beiswanger, a significant portion of which was published in the Flannery O’Connor Bulletin, volume 25, 1996-97.

James Bonner was a Professor of History at GSCW during the time O’Connor was a student. Bonner was also a noted Milledgeville historian and author of several books, including a history of Milledgeville and the history of Georgia College. There are two letters to Bonner from O’Connor in this collection. The first dated May 1948 accompanied a short paper (not included in the folder written by O’Connor for the college’s alumni journal, concerning activities at the University of Iowa.)The second letter, dated September 1956, is a response to a paper Bonner sent to O’Connor entitled “Sherman at Milledgeville in 1864.”In her return letter, O’Connor mentions members of her family and their activities in Milledgeville during the Civil War.At the bottom of this letter Bonner appears to have drafted a handwritten response expressing his interest in O’Connor’s Milledgeville family ties and their Civil War activities.

Brainard and Francis Neel Cheney lived in Tennessee and were among O’Connor’s closest friends.The GC&SU collection holds a single postcard from O’Connor to the Cheneys written while she was in Rome.The Brainard Bartwell Cheney Papers at Vanderbilt University, however, contain a lengthy series of correspondence between O’Connor and the Cheneys, published in a book edited by C. Ralph Stephens, The Correspondence of Flannery O'Connor and the Brainard Cheneys, University of Mississippi Press, 1986.

O.B. Emersonworked in the University of Alabama’s “Office of Self Study” and helped make annual arrangements for the University’s Southern Literary Festival.The Emerson file contains four letters written in 1962: two from O’Connor and two from Emerson.The letters concern an invitation to O’Connor to speak at the festival and O’Connor’s letters declining the offer.The file also includes a single postcard from O’Connor to Emerson with a printed drawing entitled “Uncle Remus, the Little Boy and all ‘The Critters.’”Along with the letters are two programs:one from the 1962 Southern Literary Festival at which O’Connor spoke; and a 1966 program in which a dramatization of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and a tribute to O’Connor by Caroline Gordon were scheduled.

The Betty Ferguson file contains three letters from O’Connor to Ferguson dated from March 1955 to January 1960.In this set of correspondence O’Connor asks Ferguson, a librarian at GSCW, if there are books on proofreading in the Russell Library collection and invites her to stop by Andalusia for a visit.

The “Flannery O’Connor File” from Harcourt-Brace is filed under Robert Giroux’s name in the Flannery O'Connor Collection.The majority of these letters are from O’Connor to her editors, all of which are photocopies apparently donated to the collection in the 1970s (the originals have not been located).While O’Connor continued to correspond with editors Robert Giroux and Catherine Carver after they left Harcourt-Brace, only the letters from the Harcourt Brace offices are found in this collection.Also of note are letters from other company representatives concerning O’Connor’s contract and the high turnover of editors.

O’Connor contracted with Harcourt Brace in 1950 after she encountered problems with her first editor, John Selby, at Rinehart. She first met

Robert Giroux in February 1949, when they were introduced by mutual friend, Robert Lowell (Giroux viii). Robert Giroux was O’Connor’s editor at Harcourt Brace until his resignation in March 1955.When Giroux left to join another publishing company, Catharine Carver became O’Connor’s editor until she left the company in December 1955.Denver Lindley was O’Connor’s final editor at Harcourt-Brace, until he too eventually resigned in April 1958.O’Connor terminated her contract with Harcourt-Brace that same year and rejoined Robert Giroux, who was now associated with Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy (later Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).

There are eighty-seven letters in this collection from O’Connor to her Harcourt Brace editors, thirty-six from Robert Giroux to O’Connor, twenty-five from Catherine Carver to O’Connor, and thirty-three from Denver Lindley to O’Connor, ranging from December 1949 to February 1959. Portions of thirty-seven of O’Connor's letters to her editors at Harcourt Brace were published in The Habit of Being.

The letters between O’Connor and Giroux are primarily cordial business letters related to the publishing of Wise Blood. They include discussions of Caroline Gordon’s recommended changes to the novel, some of O’Connor’s corrections to the galleys, reviews of Wise Blood, and O’Connor’s requests to have copies of the book sent to friends and acquaintances. The file also includes a few letters concerning the publication of A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

The letters between O’Connor and Catharine Carver discuss O’Connor’s reactions to fan mail; include biographical information and photographs for publication; detail arrangements for O’Connor to travel to New York City for the filming of the television show, Galley-Proof and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” They include comments on reviews and sales of A Good Man Is Hard to Find, O’Connor’s arrangements with British publishers, and brief discussions about O’Connor’s lectures.

The O’Connor-Lindley letters discuss Lindley’s plans to visit O’Connor in Milledgeville and whether Wise Blood and A Good Man Is Hard to Find might be misinterpreted as anti-American propaganda if published in Poland and Czechoslovakia. O’Connor comments on Caroline Gordon’s book The Malefactors, which was published by Harcourt-Brace, and on the TV production of “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” O’Connor also briefly mentions her paintings, grants she had received, her birds, and life on the farm at Andalusia.

O’Connor considered Caroline Gordon (a southern writer publishing both novels and short fiction) to be her friend and literary mentor. Gordon was associated with several writing communities throughout her life, including a loose affiliation with the Fugitive group in Tennessee. Through her interest in this group she met her husband Allen Tate, a noted writer and critic who also offered O’Connor suggestions about her writing on several occasions. Both Gordon and Tate converted to Catholicism in the late 1940s.

GC&SU’s Flannery O'Connor Collection holds four photocopied letters from O’Connor to the Tates, five from Caroline Gordon, and two from Allen Tate written between April 1954 and October 1955. None of these letters appears in The Habit of Being, and the originals have not been located. The letters concern O’Connor’s observations of farm life; friends and acquaintances; the craft of writing; Gordon and Tate’s comments on, and changes O’Connor made to, “Good Country People”; and Gordon’s comments on “The Artificial Nigger.” In one letter Gordon discusses at length a trip she took to Rome.

Gussie Harrison lived in O’Connor’s neighbor in historic Milledgeville and was a close friend of Regina Cline O’Connor. Gussie Harrison’s daughter, Mary Virginia, and Flannery were childhood friends. The folder contains one letter from O’Connor to Harrison dated March 1964.In the letter O’Connor thanks Harrison for a flower arrangement, and mentions that a picture of Harrison’s deceased husband (Ben Harrison) is on the mantlepiece in the O’Connor home. Also found in this folder is a sympathy card announcing the Mass O’Connor and Regina Cline O’Connor had said for Ben Harrison in 1957.

Mary Virginia Harrison was a childhood friend of O’Connor. Both attended Peabody High School, Georgia State College for Women, and worked on the college literary magazine, the Corinthian (Jenkins). Their mothers were also close friends, neighbors, and active in the Milledgeville community. When Mary Virginia Harrison married John Mills in 1949, the reception for the wedding was held at Andalusia. There are nine letters, four Christmas cards, and three postcards in this collection from O’Connor to Harrison dating from December 1943 to June 1957.They are generally conversational and represent some of O’Connor’s earliest collected correspondence.

A Christmas card dated December 1943 features a linoleum block print O’Connor created depicting Santa Claus getting stuck in a chimney with the reindeer watching from the side. The card is signed “M. F. O’Connor.” Also included in the collection are letters from 1948 that O’Connor wrote from Iowa City in which she makes plans for Harrison’s visit and thanks her for a Christmas gift. In a postcard from Chimney Rock, North Carolina, O’Connor mentions a walk she took; the postcard is dated 1947 and was sent from Iowa City, thanking Harrison for an airmail delivery she apparently sent to O’Connor for her birthday. In 1949, O’Connor wrote to Harrison from Connecticut explaining why she was unable to be in her wedding party and to convey regrets that she would be unable to attend the wedding. After being hospitalized in 1950, O’Connor wrote to Harrison declining her invitation to visit Harrison because of her own illness. In her later letters to Harrison, O’Connor mentions that Harrison’s parents have come to visit and relates recent news at Andalusia. Other letters in the collection are short notes and invitations for visits.

Also included among these letters are four black and white photographs dated circa 1938 of O’Connor, Harrison, and other girls from their neighborhood. The file also contains a commencement exercise program of 1942 from Peabody High School, the year both O’Connor and Harrison graduated. Also of interest is a poem, probably written by O’Connor, dated 1939.

De Vene Harrold, who was suffering from lupus, began to write O’Connor after she discovered that O’Connor had the disease. Harrold and her husband, Robert, a painter, visited O’Connor at Andalusia several times during the years of their friendship and were among the few friends to whom O’Connor gave a painting. Among the papers in this file is Harrold’s account of O’Connor describing the circumstances in which O’Connor gave her an “unfinished” painting of three priests. This painting was eventually donated to the Flannery O’Connor Collection and currently hangs in the Flannery O’Connor Memorial Room at GC&SU.

The files contain an essay written by Harrold about her friendship with O’Connor, in which she mentions that she sent three years of correspondence between herself and O’Connor to Regina Cline O’Connor after Flannery O’Connor’s death. It is believed that these letters are now held by the Regina Cline O’Connor Estate. According to Harrold’s recollections, the correspondence was largely about lupus, O’Connor’s peafowl, visits to Andalusia, and O’Connor’s paintings. There are also photographs in the Harrold file of Robert’s paintings; O’Connor at Andalusia; a well known middle-Georgia character, “The Goat Man”; a swan; and Louise, an African American woman employed by the family at Andalusia.

O’Connor met Alta Haynes in 1956 when the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Lansing, Michigan, invited her to speak at an AAUW local chapter meeting. O’Connor’s speech was entitled “Some Aspects of Contemporary Fiction” and was one of her first speaking engagements out of the South. During this visit, O’Connor stayed with Haynes, became friends, and later corresponded with her and her husband.

The Alta Haynes collection consists of twenty-eight letters from O’Connor, three letters from Haynes, twelve letters from Regina Cline O’Connor to Haynes, and an AAUW scrapbook dedicated to O’Connor and her Lansing visit. The thirty-one letters between Haynes and O’Connor range from January 1956 to December 1963, only four of which are published in The Habit of Being. The early correspondence involves the scheduling of the AAUW event and O’Connor’s letter of appreciation. The later letters discuss people both women knew, the weather, farm life, O’Connor’s relationship with her mother, information about writers and books, the Polish family living on the farm, stories O’Connor was working on, O’Connor’s efforts to learn to drive, and conferences and speeches O’Connor attended. Haynes apparently sent O’Connor and her mother flower bulbs to plant at the farm, as there is some discussion about the bulbs and thank-you notes related to them.

The scrapbook Alta Haynes created contains biographical information about O’Connor and Haynes’s memories of contacting her to speak at the AAUW meeting in 1956.Also included in the scrapbook is a single photograph of O’Connor at the AAUW meeting and newspaper clippings related to her visit. The scrapbook at one time held O’Connor's letters to Haynes, but these letters have been removed and placed in a separate folder in order to preserve them.

Caroline Ivey was a novelist and friend of O’Connor from Smith, Alabama, who visited her at Andalusia. They shared a mutual friendship with Rosa Lee Walston, professor and head of the English Department at Georgia State College for Women. The Ivey correspondence consists of eleven photocopied letters written between February 1960 to 1964. Some of these letters are difficult to read due to the quality of the photocopies. The collection also holds a single original letter dated December 1960.Four of the letters described in the collection are addressed “Dear Caline. ”O’Connor’s letters to Ivey briefly discuss visits from her friends from Florida, Rosa Lee Walston, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, O’Connor’s swans and peacocks, reporters and photographers from the Atlanta office of Time, and activities at Andalusia. O’Connor also writes that her story “Everything That Rises Must Converge” was accepted for publication in the October 1961 issue of New World Writing. In one of her letters to Ivey, O’Connor mentions that she is distressed about a book review in which the reviewer stated O’Connor’s writing revealed that she was “unhealthy.”

Edward Kessler taught in the English department at Rutgers University when he wrote to O’Connor in September 1961.The file consists of a single letter from Kessler accompanied by a copy of the Summer 1960 issue of American Scholar, which contains an article about peacocks. In his letter, Kessler expresses his admiration for O’Connor and mentions his personal interest in peacocks.

William Koon was a writer and a member of the English department at Newberry College. His file contains a single photocopied letter from O’Connor written in December 1962 addressed “Dear Billy. ”O'Connor suggests in her letter that Koon use the word “grotesque” instead of “gothic” in his critical writing, further stating that she considers her own stories grotesque rather than gothic.

Roberta Lawrence, a high school teacher from Columbus, Georgia, wrote to O’Connor to arrange a visit to Andalusia with her class. There are two letters from O’Connor dated October 1962 and January 1963 in the file, along with Lawrence’s notes on her recollection of meeting O’Connor. O’Connor invited the class to visit and thanked Lawrence for sending essays written by several Columbus High School students.

Maryat Lee met Flannery O’Connor through a mutual friend at Wesleyan College in Macon and began a friendship with her when she was invited to visit O’Connor at Andalusia in 1956 (Newman 13). Lee, a struggling playwright at the time, shared with O’Connor a love for conversation and debate. She visited O’Connor at least once a year and corresponded with her until O’Connor's death. Lee eventually had some success as a playwright and founded a theater movement known as Ecotheater, that gained recognition in the late 1990s. Her philosophy of Ecotheater centers on the idea that any person can become an actor, portraying ideas about his or her personal history, culture, and beliefs.

The O’Connor-Lee correspondence consists of 254 letters, 162 from O’Connor and 92 from Lee. The letters date from January 1957 to July 1964, with Lee’s side of the correspondence ending in 1962. Eighty of O’Connor’s letters to Lee appear in edited form in The Habit of Being. Letters from O’Connor in this collection are signed originals, while those from Lee are unsigned carbon copies. O’Connor’s early letters are generally a single-typed page, until July 1961 after which all of O’Connor’s letters are handwritten. The letters from Lee are generally two typed pages and include much detail.

Both sides of the correspondence include Maryat Lee’s handwritten notes, which reflect the subjects addressed in the letters. The correspondence reveals each woman’s sense of humor, her life as a writer and artist, and her philosophy. The letters as a whole are honest and humorous. Near the end of O’Connor’s life, when both women were receiving medical treatment, the letters include discussions of their symptoms and treatments. The last letter in the collection was written July 28, 1964, and may have been the last letter Flannery O’Connor wrote. Her mother, Regina Cline O’Connor, found the letter on O’Connor’s table and sent it to Maryat Lee after her daughter’s death in August 1964 (HB 596).

The topics of the letters are wide-ranging. Both women discuss their feelings about race relations; the creative writing process; their relationship with the South and their feelings about living there; Lee’s visits to Milledgeville; Lee’s play Dope; literary agents and their purpose; Lee’s attempt to introduce O’Connor to writer James Baldwin; investments in the stock market and other financial matters; people they both knew in common, including women from Wesleyan who visited O’Connor on a regular basis; books they were reading; and authors in whom they were interested.

O’Connor wrote to Lee about race relations in Milledgeville and southern politics; her speaking engagements; stories she was working on; her trip to Rome; learning to drive; the Ford Foundation grant she received in 1959; visitors to Andalusia; people with whom she was corresponding; property she owned in Savannah and Milledgeville; the honorary degrees she received from St. Mary’s College and Smith; and activities on the farm.

Lee comments on O’Connor’s published writings; her own marriage to “Faulkes”; her trip to Japan; her search for a literary agent; her relationship with her brother, Robert E. Lee (a former President of GSCW); her family; performances she was attending; and her artistic endeavors (painting and writing prose and plays).

Lee attempts, in later correspondence, to get information for O’Connor about lupus. She discusses her visit with Dr. Sprung in Providence, Rhode Island, from whom she gathered information on treatments for lupus, including a drug called subtiltryptasin. Lee also met with a Dr. Sofer at Mt. Sinai Hospital to discuss O’Connor’s lupus and the drug treatment she was receiving. In response to Lee’s letters, O’Connor discusses her doctor in Atlanta and the treatments she is getting for the disease.

Betty Boyd Love met O’Connor in 1942 at GSCW where they both worked on the college literary magazine, The Corinthian. There are twelve letters from O’Connor to Love in the file, written between June 1949 and February 1963, with most written between 1949 and 1952. Nine of the letters were published in The Habit of Being. A more complete record of the correspondence may be found in the Flannery O’Connor Bulletin, volume 26-27, 1998-2000.

O’Connor’s letters include a discussion of communism at Yaddo (an artists’ retreat in New York where O’Connor was briefly in residence), her thoughts on the FBI’s investigation of Yaddo, and the reasons she left. She also writes of her early impressions of her move to Connecticut to live with Robert and Sally Fitzgerald. O’Connor mentions the problems she had with her publisher, her attempts to find a new one, and notes her early diagnosis of arthritis, which was later recognized to be lupus erythematosus. The two discuss people they both know and events at GSCW, including O’Connor’s book signing for Wise Blood. Also included in this collection is correspondence from Love to the Alumni Association at Georgia College regarding the donation of O’Connor’s manuscripts.

Along with the letters, Love’s file contains drafts of her recollections of O’Connor in which she describes their friendship. One of these drafts includes Regina Cline O’Connor’s handwritten comments and editorial suggestions. There is also a letter from Margaret Meaders to Love in which Meaders suggests changes for an essay Love had written, and several additional letters between Love’s husband, Jim, and Sally Fitzgerald regarding the inclusion of the O'Connor-Love letters in The Habit of Being.

Allen Maxwell was editor of the Southwest Review published at Southern Methodist University. There are two letters from Maxwell to O’Connor in this collection dated June and July of 1946.Both are rejection letters offering a few comments on O’Connor’s early short stories, “The Coat” and “Wildcat.”

At the suggestion of Paul Moore, a writer O’Connor met at Yaddo, she contacted Elizabeth McKee in June 1948 to tell her that she was looking for an agent. McKee agreed to represent O’Connor and remained her literary agent until her own death in the 1990s.

This file contains a series of 154 letters and five postcards from O’Connor to McKee, or members of McKee’s staff, and twenty-three letters from McKee’s office to O’Connor dating from June 1948 to May 1964. Fifty-two of these letters are published in The Habit of Being. In the O’Connor-McKee series of letters there is little correspondence from 1950 and none between 1953 and 1954. This collection of letters was apparently Elizabeth McKee’s business correspondence concerning O’Connor. Most of O’Connor’s letters have original signatures while those from McKee’s office are carbon copies. The file also contains letters to and from people working in McKee’s office, addressing O’Connor’s business affairs. Correspondents from McKee’s office include Mavis McIntosh, Candida Donadio, Jeanne Minor, and Rhoda Solomon. The file also holds a few pieces of correspondence from McKee’s office to other individuals interested in O’Connor’s work.

O’Connor’s letters to McKee are short and usually concern business matters. They generally relate to stories O’Connor was sending to McKee and decisions regarding where they might be published. In the first letter to O’Connor in the collection, dated June 1948, McKee replies to O’Connor’s initial query, explains how writer-agent relationships work, and states that she would be happy to work with O’Connor as her agent.

The O’Connor-McKee letters discuss problems O’Connor had with Rinehart and her desire to be released from her contract; questions about the publishing business in general; concerns about payment for her stories; her business and contractual arrangements with Harcourt-Brace; other contracts with publishers; actions to take if Robert Giroux, Catharine Carver, and Denver Lindley were to leave Harcourt-Brace; ideas O’Connor had for publishing novels and short story collections; issues of copyright and permissions; contracts with foreign publishers, including the German translation of Wise Blood and the French translation of A Good Man Is Hard to Find; stories with misprints; questions about republishing Wise Blood and A Good Man Is Hard to Find; and a lengthy discussion about Robert Jiras, a film producer who proposed making O’Connor’s story “The River” into a film.

The letters briefly mention arrangements for O’Connor’s visits to New York City; her application for a Guggenheim scholarship; her battle with lupus; O’Connor’s interest in working with Brainard Cheney, who was trying to establish a “Provincial Theatre in Nashville”; her desire to maintain dramatization rights for her work; filmmakers in Hollywood interested in securing rights to her stories; speeches she was delivering; her concern that her works might be published in Russian-occupied countries; and her fear that her work might be misinterpreted as anti-American propaganda. Also included in the McKee file are letters O’Connor apparently forwarded to her from people who had written her.Three letters are from John Selby, O’Connor’s editor at Rinehart Publishing: an August 1948 letter is to Elizabeth McKee apologizing for not bringing O’Connor’s story to a meeting Selby had with McKee; a February 1949 letter to O'Connor discusses the chapters of Wise Blood he has read. (O’Connor’s February 1949 response to Selby’s comments is published in its entirety in The Habit of Being.) In Selby's final letter to Paul Engle in May 1949, he states that he is disturbed by O’Connor’s reaction to his comments about her writing.

Also included in this series of letters are two letters from Paul Engle, who was the director of the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa when O’Connor was there. Of particular interest is Engle’s response to O’Connor’s April 1949 letter to him, published in The Habit of Being, in which she explains the problems she is having with Rinehart. Engle responds with his view of publishing and working with publishers. A November 1959 letter from Engle in this collection is a request for permission to print “The Artificial Nigger” in an anthology Engle is compiling.

Marion Montgomery was a professor in the English department at the University of Georgia. The Montgomery file includes one short note to O’Connor from Montgomery, written in March 1962.This note was enclosed with a copy of the Spring 1962 issue of Northwest Review, which features Montgomery’s short story “Graduation Snapshots.”

The Martha Pennington Null file consists of two letters from O’Connor and a 1940 Christmas card made by O’Connor. In her letter of January 1960, O’Connor mentions people from Milledgeville and invites Null and her family to come to Andalusia for a visit.

The Joan O’Connor file consists of a single letter from Flannery O’Connor in which she states she had mixed feelings about the Schlitz Playhouse television production of “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.”

Marion Peterman Page was O’Connor’s classmate at GSCW. In a short note from O’Connor to Page in November, 1959 O’Connor mentions a class they took together, people they both know, and invites her to visit Andalusia.

Rebekah Poller is mentioned by O’Connor in several letters to others as her “friend in Schenectady, NY.”Poller and her husband contacted O'Connor frequently while visiting their own family in Milledgeville, and the two women were mutual acquaintances of Granville Hicks.

The Poller folder contains ten letters from O’Connor dated April 1958 to December 1963.Topics discussed include a trip O’Connor intended to make to New York City, life at Andalusia, people they both know, O’Connor’s driving lessons, their mutual interest in swans, and information about O’Connor's friend Cecil Dawkins, who was living at Yaddo at the time.

Also included is an acknowledgement card from Regina Cline O’Connor sent to Poller after O’Connor’s death. She states that her daughter was able to see the Pollers from her hospital bed when they came to visit her. In two other notes Regina Cline O'Connor thanks the Pollers for Christmas gifts.

Another item found in this folder is a single undated letter from Mimi Johnson to Poller. Johnson attended GSCW at the same time as O’Connor, and in her letter to Poller she describes an afternoon visit she had with O’Connor at Andalusia. Poller’s file also contains a typescript copy of O’Connor’s speech entitled “The Fiction Writer and His Country,” which she had delivered at GSCW. According to information provided in the file, the transcript was given to Poller to share with Granville Hicks at the time he was writing The Living Novel: A Symposium.

Katherine Anne Porter was a southern writer known for her bestselling novel, Ship of Fools (Johnston). Porter’s papers, which contain several letters to and from O’Connor, are housed at the University of Maryland.

The single photocopied letter in the file from O’Connor to Porter is dated January 1960 and was published in an edited form in The Habit of Being. The original letter is not part of the Porter collection at the University of Maryland and has not yet been located. In the letter, O’Connor mentions the publication of The Violent Bear It Away and refers to the Chinese geese and peacocks that Porter had admired when she visited Andalusia.

Richard Russell, a painter, lived for a time in Gray, Georgia, and was a member of O’Connor’s local reading group, which met at Andalusia to discuss literature and theology (CW 1250).The Russell collection consists of three handwritten notes from O’Connor to Russell - one in January and two in December 1960 - about meetings that were changed, moved, or canceled.

Virginia Satterfield was a librarian at GSCW, and Jessie Trawick was a professor in Chemistry at the college. The collection includes two letters from O’Connor to these women. In the first, dated May 1952, O’Connor thanks Satterfield for flowers she sent, and in the second, dated June 1964, she thanks them both for the book-signing party the library held for her when Wise Blood was published.

Katherine Scott was in the English department at GSCW when O’Connor was a student and was known locally for her stories about Milledgeville history and legend. The collection includes one letter from O’Connor to Scott dated August 1958 in which she invites Scott for a visit and thanks her for a book.

The Marcus Smith folder contains a single letter of July 1964 to O’Connor. Smith, apparently an O’Connor admirer or scholar, asks her what influence Nathanael West had on her writing. The collection does not contain O’Connor’s response.

Grace Terry, a professor at the State University of New York at Potsdam, corresponded with O’Connor in 1962.In the two letters found in this file, O’Connor discusses her character Tarwater from the Violent Bear It Away, and her belief that he is called to be a prophet. The letters were apparently sent in response to questions from students.

Shirley Abbott Tomkievicz was a student at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University) when she wrote to O’Connor in 1956 requesting comments on a piece she intended to submit in support of an editorship position for which she was applying. O’Connor’s three letters comment on Tomkievicz’s writing, her own Christian beliefs, her writing, and her work on The Violent Bear It Away.

Rosa Lee Walston was a friend of O’Connor who had been a professor of English at GSCW and head of the Department of English and Speech after O’Connor graduated. Walston also served as the founding editor of The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin, which began in the fall of 1972. There is a single photocopied letter from O’Connor to Walston dated May 1960 in which she discusses a piece of jewelry created with a wisdom tooth by one of her friends and extends an invitation for Walston to stop by for a visit.

The Leo J. Zuber file is a collection of letters O’Connor wrote to the editors of the book section of the Catholic diocesan publication, The Bulletin. The first three letters in the collection are addressed to Eileen Hall, who left The Bulletin in 1960.The remaining twenty-five are to Zuber, who took over the book section after Hall’s resignation.

The letters in this collection date from December 1959 to April 1964. Most are handwritten notes containing factual information about books O’Connor had received, reviewed, or would like to review. The letters probably accompanied reviews O’Connor was submitting to The Bulletin for publication. While most of the correspondence is of a business nature, some letters contain personal information about O’Connor and Zuber.

O’Connor wrote to Zuber about people they both knew, and she often recommended appropriate reviewers for The Bulletin. O’Connor also invited Zuber and his family for visits to Andalusia and shared information about Betty Hester (“A” in The Habit of Being), who also wrote reviews for The Bulletin. [Leo Zuber’s The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews by Flannery O’Connor was completed after his death by Carter W. Martin and published by the University of Georgia Press in 1983.] One of the last pieces of correspondence in the file includes a photograph of O’Connor’s new burro, Equinox, born at Andalusia. In addition, the collection contains six letters from Regina Cline O’Connor from 1965-1969 in which she thanks Zuber for letters and clippings he had sent to her.