This bold and brilliant collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of American literature When she died in 1964, Flannery O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her lifetime. The brilliant pieces in Mystery and Manners , selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the boldness and simplicity of her style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith. The book opens with The King of the Birds, her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. There are three essays on regional writing, including The Fiction Writer and His Country and Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction; two on teaching literature, including Total Effect and the Eighth Grade; and four on the writer and religion, including The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South. Essays such as The Nature and Aim of Fiction and Writing Short Stories are gems. Their value to the contemporary reader--and writer--is inestimable.