Research Guides


Flannery O'Connor

This Web page has information to help researchers find materials related to the American author (Mary) Flannery O'Connor, 1925-1964. An excellent overview of her works and their critical reception can be found in Contemporary Authors and Contemporary Literary Criticism-Select (available online to CSU affiliates).

Books | Articles (includes tips for searching MLA online) | Web


Books are a key resource for literary research. Books by and about Flannery O'Connor can be found in Morgan Library at call number PS 3565 C57 (all the books beginning with this number are by or about her). They are located in the lower level (basement) of the building.

Locate individual tales by doing a title search in SAGE, the library catalog (for works in anthologies or compilations from the past ten years and selected older titles):

A Good Man is Hard to Find
Parker's Back

Note: this search also picks up materials about the story or novel.


For literature, and therefore Flannery O'Connor, there are three indexes that provide the most sources for research on the author and her works. The indexes are MLA Bibliography, Academic Search Premier, and Humanities Abstract.

  • Search the MLA Bibliography for articles, book chapters, etc. After finding a citation, check SAGE to see if CSU owns the journal or book.

    To find resources about O'Connor, search MLA for:

    image of MLA subject search for materials about O'Connor
There are many entries on Flannery O'Connor in MLA (as of February 2004 there are over 1100 entries).

You can limit your search by publication type from the initial search screen. Get there by clicking on "Search Options" tab if you have already done a search. Publication types are: Book; Book Article; Book Collection; Dissertation Abstract; Journal Article. The left example below shows a search limited to journal articles. You can also exclude dissertations from a general search (right example).

image of English language selected

image of exclude Dissertations

You can also limit your search by language of the article by scrolling and selecting your choice:

image of language selected English You may select more than one language; just use the Ctrl key to choose languages that are not sequential:image of German and Greek languages selected

Once you set limits, they will stay as long as you do new searches in the main search box (image of options set checked) shows just above entries for search results). If you return to image of "Advanced Search" highlighted terms it erases your previous limits, so if you intend to add something new, you will need to remember to repeat your earlier limits.

Because there are so many records, narrow your search by topic. For example:

image from MLA search of O'Connor search narrowed by topic narrows the number of items to 12 (in February 2004). Always look at the full record of any source of interest. It will help you identify terms that will be useful for finding additional sources:

image from MLA of genearl subject areas and subject terms from O'Connor topic article
If you are interested in one story in particular, click on the hyperlink or do a new subject search for it.

image of Search History/Alerts

The "Search History" shows you your earlier searches. Click on the box in the "Add to Search" column to the left of the search you want to repeat or combine (with and, or, or not) and click on the "Add" button. You will then need to click the "search" button to do the search--or you can add additional terms in the same or other search boxes. Search history/alerts, will continue to display until you click on it again image of search history/alerts with arrow down (showing)(difference is direction of arrow to left of the words.)

image of search history O'Connor(July 30, 2008)

  • Academic Search Premier

    To eliminate the book reviews from your search, do a subject search for Flannery O'Connor not books-reviews (SU Flannery O'Connor NOT SU books-reviews). Same software as MLA above. There are over 130 records on O'Connor in Academic Search Premier. Some of the records are for a more general audience than MLA, and may be very useful. You can also limit your results, under "search options," to scholarly articles (over 90) (this option is not found in MLA--generally speaking, everything in MLA is scholarly).

    image of checked scholarly (peer reviewed) journals

  • Humanities International Index Varies. (Different publisher, similar subject coverage: Humanties Index AI 3 .I495 Reference South 1974-98.)

    Over 650 articles are about or mention Flannery O'Connor and her works/influence in the online database. In over 360 she is mentioned as a subject.

    Subject Terms: O'CONNOR, Flannery


Note: some of the Web sites linked to on this page won't let you go "back" with your browser's back button. Use Netscape's "Go" drop down menu or Internet Explorer's View-->drop down menu (select Go To) to return to this page when your back arrow doesn't work.

In all cases, be sure to evaluate what you find, no matter the source: book, article, Web page.

Comforts of Home. © 1995: Brian Collier and Comforts of Home.

Links to her Biography; Online Essays; Offline Essays; Other Sites. Links are integrated within essays, which are useful for context. The arranged by subject and extensive Offline Essays main link is not working, so it is linked directly to here. Citation format is non-traditional (pipe (|) used to separate sections) so pay attention to part of the citation when tracking down the identified sources.

A Good Man is Hard to Find: by Flannery O'Connor. From:Flannery O'Connor: Collected Works the Library of America. (c)1953, 1954.

Text of story. (In Word.)

Specific Stories Discussed/Analyzed

It is recommended that sources from reputable journals be used as much as possible. That said, these pages look useful.

O'Connor, Flannery. Various authors. Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database. New York University.

Annotations of Everything That Rises Must Converge, Good Country People, The Lame Shall Enter First, A Late Encounter With the Enemy, and Revelation, and more.

Warning to teachers: there are essay mills on Flannery O'Connor topics for sale on the Web, so beware.