Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O Connor wrote two novels, "Wise Blood" (1952) and "The Violent Bear It Away" (1960), and two story collections, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (1955) and "Everything That Rises Must Converge" (1964). Her "Complete Stories", published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest s 60-year history. Her essays were published in "Mystery and Manners" (1969) and her letters in "The Habit of Being" (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her "Collected Works"; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop, and wrote much of "Wise Blood" at the Yaddo artists colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.