“Kindest Regards” [?!] from Evelyn Waugh

The Lady with the Unaided Work and a Remarkable Product.

O’Connor, writing to Gordon after the publication of Wise Blood: “I’m sorry you won’t be able to review the book but I am glad to have the comment [Gordon’s quote] on the jacket, where it will give pause. I thought you would be interested in [Evelyn] Waugh’s comment which was as follows: ‘You want a favorable opinion to quote. The best I can say is: “If this is really the unaided work of a young lady, it is a remarkable product.” End quote—It isn’t the kind of book I like much, but it is good of its kind. It is lively and more imaginative than most modern books. Why are so many characters in recent American fiction sub-human? Kindest regards.’ Well, I am dee-termined there’ll be no apes in the next one.”

—Flannery O’Connor to Caroline Gordon, 2 May 1952. The Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon


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