- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

ATLANTA (AP) — Emory University will unseal its collection of hundreds of letters between author Flannery O’Connor and one of her longtime friends, officials announced last week.

The collection was given to Emory by Elizabeth Hester, who began corresponding with Miss O’Connor as a fan in 1955. The relationship developed into a close friendship lasting until Miss O’Connor’s death in 1964. Miss Hester donated the letters to Emory in 1987 on the condition that they remain sealed for 20 years.

The collection of 274 letters will be opened to the public May 12. Edited versions of some of the letters were published in a 1979 book, but this is the first time that the public will be able to read the entire collection. The letters will give fans and scholars of the famed Southern writer a glimpse into Miss O’Connor’s feelings on religion, society and culture, said Rosemary Magee, vice president at Emory and an O’Connor scholar.

Miss O’Connor lived much of her life in Milledgeville, Ga., on her family’s farm. Her work includes the novels “Wise Blood” and “The Violent Bear It Away.” She also produced numerous short stories, including “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.”

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