Washington & Lee University

Special Collections

Lexington, VA

Collection: Thomas H. Carter Correspondence

Manuscript ID: MSS: 74-1145

NUCMC: MS 74-1145

Arrangement: The letters from O’Connor are found in “Box 1,” “Folder 8.” Thomas Henry Carter (1931-1963) was an English professor at Patrick Henry Community College in Virginia and editor of Shenandoah, a literary quarterly published by Washington and Lee University. Carter apparently first contacted O’Connor to encourage her to submit work to Shenandoah some time after Brainard Cheney’s review of Wise Blood appeared in the quarterly.

The collection contains seven letters from O’Connor to Carter dated January 1953 to December 1957. O’Connor wrote that she appreciated their publication of Cheney’s review since Wise Blood had not received many reviews. She mentions her story “A Stroke of Good Fortune” and offers it to Shenandoah as long as it is not a violation of copyright law to reprint it. O’Connor also mentions Deb Wylder (of Iowa City, Iowa) and “Miss Clyde McCleod” (Mars Hill, North Carolina) as writers who might be interested in submitting fiction for publication in the journal.

The last two letters from O’Connor to Carter are casual and conversational. She mentions that “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” would be televised on an upcoming Schlitz Playhouse Show, wishes him well with an appointment at the Mayo Clinic, thanks him for a book he had sent, and briefly mentions the Cheneys, the Tates, and Ashley Brown.

The collection also contains a letter from O’Connor to Ashley Brown, dated March 1955, in which she asks Brown to speak with someone at Shenandoah about releasing “A Stroke of Good Fortune” for publication in A Good Man Is Hard to Find. The majority of O’Connor’s letters to Brown are found at the Princeton University Special Collections.