University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Wilson Library Special Collections

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Southern Historical Collection: Ward Allison Dorrance Papers 1935-1974.

Collection ID: MSS# 4127.

Arrangement: Letters arranged by correspondents.

Ward Allison Dorrance was a faculty member in the department of foreign languages at the University of Missouri. He also wrote fiction and nonfiction and was a friend of Caroline Gordon and other members of the Fugitive Group. O’Connor met Dorrance when she spoke at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1963 (CW 1255).

There are twelve letters from O’Connor in the Dorrance papers dating from October 1963 to June 1964. The letters are informal and addressed “Dear Cudden Ward,” with two signed “Love, Flannery.” Several of the letters were written from her hospital and sick beds. O’Connor mentions her illness and some of the treatments she is receiving and describes her life at Andalusia with her mother and her aunts in Milledgeville. She talks about her writing and the writing on which Dorrance was working. O’Connor apparently sent Dorrance her manuscripts and asked him to comment on her stories.

Southern Historical Collection: Lockwick Charles Hartley Papers 1922-1979

Collection ID: MSS# 4195

Arrangement: A single O’Connor letter is located in Series I, “Folder 59.”

Lockwick Charles Hartley was a writer, literary critic, and chair of the English Department at North Carolina State University, who occasionally wrote reviews of O’Connor's work. In the letter dated April 1962, O’Connor mentions that she enjoyed her visit to North Carolina State and found Eudora Welty to be “very charming.”

Southern Historical Collection: Louis D. Rubin Jr. Papers 1956-1968

Collection ID: MSS# 3899.

NUCMC: MS 78-2295

Arrangement: The O’Connor letters are found in “Folder 111” and are arranged chronologically.

Louis Rubin was in the English Department at Hollins College in Virginia when he met O’Connor while attending a meeting at Wesleyan College in Georgia. The letters in this collection are short and businesslike.

The Rubin Papers contain nine letters from Flannery O’Connor written between January 1956 and September 1963, with most written in 1963. Rubin occasionally wrote reviews of O’Connor's work. The letters deal with Rubin’s request of O’Connor to write an essay about the South. However, O’Connor declined, stating that her views about the South could only be expressed in fiction. Rubin later made arrangements for O’Connor to speak at Hollins College in October 1963, where she planned to read “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.”

Southern Historical Collection: Walker Percy Papers 1943-1989

Collection ID: MSS# 4234.

Arrangement: The Percy Papers are arranged by subject and by correspondent. The O’Connor letters are in “Folder 58.”

Walker Percy was a southern writer who lived most of his writing life in Covington, Louisiana. Percy became a Roman Catholic in 1946 and published his first novel, The Moviegoer, in 1961. Percy and O’Connor both shared Robert Giroux as an editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and each greatly admired the other’s work. They met when O’Connor traveled to Louisiana in November 1962. O’Connor mentions in a letter to Cecil Dawkins that she had corresponded with Percy for several years and liked The Moviegoer (HB 105).

The collection includes two letters from O’Connor written in 1962, one of which is published in The Habit of Being. In these letters O’Connor congratulates Percy for winning the National Book Award for The Moviegoer and refers to their mutual friend, Caroline Gordon.