Like most of the things I was forced to read in school, Flannery O’Conner’s work didn’t make much of an impression. A few years ago, I read Wise Blood, her novel about religious nuts in gorilla suits, and hated it. But O’Conner isn’t know for her novels, she’s famous for her short stories, so I gave her another try. Finally, finally, I get her. Her writing isn’t flowery, her characters aren’t likable, but her stories hit on a visceral level. They also confront the ugliness of human nature, and ask us to reconsider our best intentions. Reading Everything That Rises Must Converge made me realize why people still read her, and turned me into a bit of a fan. I’m really curious about her life, and what she was like. The introduction, written by a close friend, describes her warmly, but her stories show she had a dark wit beneath all that Southern charm.