Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor

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Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor's astonishing and haunting first novel, is a classic of twentieth-century literature. It is the story of Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate faith. He falls under the spell of a "blind" street preacher names Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter, Lily Sabbath. In an ironic, malicious gesture of his own non-faith, and to prove himself a greater cynic than Hawks, Hazel Motes founds the The Church Without Christ, but is still thwarted in his efforts to lose God. He meets Enoch Emery, a young man with "wise blood," who leads him to a mummified holy child, and whose crazy maneuvers are a manifestation of Hazel's existential struggles. This tale of redemption, retribution, false prophets, blindness, blindings, and wisdom gives us one of the most consuming characters in modern fiction.

- Publisher

The 1226th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 9th on The Best Southern Novels of All Time (Oxford American)
  2. - 41st on D. G. Myers’ 50 Greatest English Language Novels (D. G. Myers)
  3. - 56th on 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction (Larry McCaffery)
  4. - 62nd on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List (The Observer)
  5. - 82nd on In Which These Are the 100 Greatest Novels (ThisRecording.com)

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