University of Texas

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Austin, TX 78713

Collection: Genesis West Collection

Collection ID: MS Genesis West, Recip.

The letters in the Genesis West Collection are between O’Connor and the journal’s editor, Gordon Lish. Lish taught fiction writing and is a novelist and editor at Alfred A. Knopf (Weber).

The O’Connor correspondence in this collection consists of five letters from O’Connor, one of which is a poem about the letter “F.” The letters date from February to October 1963 and, with the exception of the poem, are businesslike and concern items that were to be published in Genesis West. Throughout the collection the author Opel Belknap is discussed. The letters also contain O’Connor’s letter declining Lish’s invitation to judge a fiction writing contest for Genesis West.

Collection: Harper’s Bazaar Collection

Arrangement: Letters to and from Harper’s Bazaar Literary Editor Alice Morris.

The letters in the Harper’s Bazaar Collection are between O’Connor and the journal’s literary editor, Alice Morris. Morris was a writer and critic with an interest in promoting young American writers. She married and later divorced playwright and novelist, Harvey Breit (“Alice”). Harper’s Bazaar published O’Connor’s stories “A Late Encounter with the Enemy,” “Good Country People,” and “The Enduring Chill.” There are ten letters from Morris and twelve from O’Connor in this collection, all of which date from April 1955 to March 1958; four of O’Connor’s letters appear in The Habit of Being. The early letters focus upon Morris’s request for a photograph to run with O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” published in the June 1958 issue. In the letters, O’Connor expresses her frustration with being photographed and the trouble she has had with photographers.

After O’Connor visited New York for the filming of her interview with Harvey Breit for the television show Galley Proof, O’Connor and Morris exchange letters expressing appreciation at finally being able to meet.

O’Connor’s later letters to Morris mention a letter of complaint O’Connor received after her work was published in Harper’s Bazaar as well as the positive responses both O’Connor and Harper’s Bazaar received to “Good Country People.” O’Connor also mentions the trip she took to Lansing, Michigan, and recommends a writer she met there who might be interested in publishing in Harper’s Bazaar.

The final letters concern publication of “The Enduring Chill.” In this file of letters between O’Connor and Morris there is a letter O’Connor wrote to Elizabeth McKee concerning changes she wanted to make to “The Enduring Chill” before Harper’s Bazaar published it.

Collection: Alfred A. Knopf Inc, Records

Arrangement: Letters from O’Connor are in the “John Updike” files.

There are three letters from O’Connor to Knopf employee Harding Lemay in the Knopf Collection. All are short thank-you notes concerning books by John Updike that Knopf had sent to her. The three letters are dated 28 November 1958 (for The Poorhouse Fair), 13 July 1959 (for a collection of short stories, probably The Same Door), and 26 October 1960 (for The Magic Flute, which Updike adapted from libretto for juvenile fiction with Warren Chappell).

Collection: Robie Macauley Collection

Collection ID: MS Macauley, Recip.

Robie Macauley was a short story writer and novelist who met O’Connor while they were in Iowa City (Cash 188). Macauley later went on to become editor of the Kenyon Review and fiction editor at Playboy magazine.

The collection contains six letters from O’Connor dated 1950 to September 1955, all of which are published in The Habit of Being. They are friendly and conversational in nature and concern individuals they both know, including Paul Engle and Ashley Brown. O’Connor wrote about her progress in writing Wise Blood, especially about one of the characters from the novel, Enoch Emory. O’Connor comments on her own work, mentions letters she has received from readers, and briefly discusses sales of A Good Man Is Hard to Find. She apparently read work Macauley was submitting for publication and commented positively on what she read. O’Connor also mentions an upcoming trip to New York for the filming of Galley Proof and a trip to Lansing, Michigan, to speak to a chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

In her later letters, O’Connor mentions that she is beginning to collect pea chickens. She and Macauley also exchange information about a columnist for the Atlanta Constitution, Dr. Frank Crane.

Collection: Bernard Malamud Papers

Arrangement: The single O’Connor letter in this collection is located in “Box 14,” “Folder 14.”

Bernard Malamud was a novelist and short story writer who wrote about issues affecting Jews and the struggle of common people. Malamud’s first novel, The Natural, was published in 1952.

Malamud apparently wrote to O’Connor in February of 1960 and commented on her newly published novel, The Violent Bear It Away. There is one letter from O’Connor in the Malamud Collection dated February 1960, addressed “Dear Mr. Malamud,” in which O’Connor writes that she is grateful for Malamud’s praise of her work.