Robert Giroux, editor-in-chief of Harcourt, Brace & Company and later editor-in-chief and chairman of the editorial board of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, was Flannery O’Connor’s devoted friend and admirer. Although Giroux was not O’Connor’s sole editor, she reserved her greatest praise for him, affectionately referring to him as “Old Giroux” and “old friend.”
Born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925, Flannery O’Connor is considered one of America’s greatest fiction writers. Although O’Connor wrote two novels, she is best known for her short stories, written primarily in a Southern Gothic style.
Upon their first meeting, Giroux was immediately taken by O’Connor. Giroux would go on to edit the three books published during O’Connor’s lifetime, plus Everything that Rises Must Converge, which she completed just before she died in 1964 at the age of 39, the posthumous The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, and the subsequent award-winning collection of her letters, The Habit of Being.
In Giroux’s introduction to O’Connor’s Complete Stories, he reflected on their first meeting, “Behind her soft-spoken speech, clear-eyed gaze and shy manner, I sensed a tremendous strength. This was the rarest kind of young writer, one who was prepared to work her utmost and knew exactly what she must do with her talent.”
Well-researched and rich in biographical detail, Flannery O’Connor and Robert Giroux: A Publishing Partnership is a wonderful account of the special literary and personal relationship that the two shared, and is certain to be enjoyed by fans of O’Connor and students of Southern literature alike.
About the Author
Patrick Samway, S.J., professor emeritus of English at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, is the author or editor/co-editor of thirteen books, including The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) and Walker Percy: A Life, selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books of 1997.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press (March 30, 2018)
Review Notes: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.