A Little Happier: Flannery O’Connor Writes About What Some Folks Would Do.

How I love the work of Flannery O’Connor. Her novel Wise Blood is one of my favorite books, and I also love O’Connor’s non-fiction. I’ve read The Habit of Being, her collection of letters, many times.

The passage I read is from her O’Connor’s essay “Writing Short Stories,” in Mystery and Manners:

I lent some stories to a country lady who lives down the road from me, and when she returned them, she said, “Well, them stories just gone and shown you how some folks would do,” and I thought to myself that that was right; when you write stories, you have to be content to start exactly there—showing how some specific folks will do, will do in spite of everything.

I don’t understand why these lines have haunted me for so long — but I think of them often — what some folks will do, will do, in spite of everything.

For instance, I thought about them a lot when I was trying to identify my Four Tendencies framework. It does explain what some folks will do.

If you’d like to hear O’Connor read her famous short story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” it’s here.

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

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Happier listening!

  • Rebecca

    Gretchen, it seems like your littler happiers cut off off in the middle of a sentence. Not sure if it’s my podcast app. I really enjoy them!

    • gretchenrubin

      I’ve heard this from several people.

      I thought It was the Outcast app…but I also heard that someone on Android was experiencing this.
      Weigh in, please, if you’re getting cut off!

      The episode seems fine on our end, so trying to figure out where the problem is happening.
      Thanks for making sure I know about it —

      • Peggy Collins

        Gretchen, I’m seeing this consistently on Stitcher and only on the Little Happier episodes. Your full length episodes are fine.

        • gretchenrubin

          This is super-helpful. We’re investigating!

  • statmam

    Yep, I get the early cutoff too on Android.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for letting me know! Investigating now.

  • Cindy May

    I mostly only listen using I-Tunes on my laptop, but that happened the other day. I didn’t think anything of it since after a momentary lapse, the conversation seemed to pick up from where it left off. Most odd though…

  • Imogen_Jericho

    A timely observation to share, perhaps. Thank you.