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Wingless chickens, bayou Catholics, and pilgrim wayfarers : constructions of audience and tone in O'Connor, Gautreaux, and Percy /
L. Lamar Nisly.
1st ed.
Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press, c2011.
xiv, 254 p. ; 24 cm.
0881462144 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780881462142 (hardcover : alk. paper)
More Details
Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press, c2011.
0881462144 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780881462142 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Flannery O'Connor: the writer as prophet to wingless chickens -- O'Connor's surprisingly surprising fiction -- Tim Gautreaux: the writer as companion to bayou Catholics -- Gautreaux's tales of humor and moral choices -- Walker Percy: the writer as diagnostic canary to pilgrim wayfarers -- Percy's edgy satiric fiction.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [191]-250) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-07-01:
According to Nisly (Bluffton Univ.), Flannery O'Connor, Tim Gautreaux, and Walker Percy exhibit striking differences in the ways both geography and Vatican II influenced their work and their place within the Roman Catholic community. Nisly posits that O'Connor's defensiveness resulted from belonging to a minority in Protestant Georgia and that Gautreaux is not as edgy because he grew up in Catholic territory. The Catholicism that undergirds Gautreaux's fiction is a given that continuously reveals the humanity of his characters, whereas O'Connor's belief was that humanity was blind and deaf and needed to be forced to revelation. On the other hand, Percy--who converted to Catholicism as an adult and chose Covington, Louisiana, as his home--offers warnings to unsuspecting readers and attacks disbelief through satire. Percy reacted against post-Vatican II excesses; Gautreaux does not engage Vatican II in his work; and O'Connor, although she died before Vatican II changes went into effect, seemed to favor some of them. Although Nisly offers no new conclusions about O'Connor, his discussion of Percy answers significant questions about his Catholicism, and the section on Gautreaux is particularly welcome because so little has been written about him. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. J. P. Baumgaertner Wheaton College (IL)
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, April 2011
Choice, July 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Nisly helps readers understand O'Connor's, Gautreaux's, and Percy's fiction by examining the role that place and time had in shaping each author's idea of an audience - and, by extension, his or her manner of addressing that audience.
Main Description
Flannery O'Connor, Tim Gautreaux, and Walker Percy, are all Catholic writers from the South-and seem to embody very fully both parts of that label. Yet as quickly becomes clear in their writing, their fiction employs markedly different tones and modes of addressing their audience. O'Connor seems intent on shocking her reader, whom she anticipates will be hostile to her deepest beliefs. Gautreaux gently and humorously engages his reader, inviting his expected sympathetic audience to embrace the characters' needed moral growth. Percy satirically lampoons an array of social ills and failings in the Church, as he tries to get his audience laughing with him while he makes his deadly serious point about the flaws he finds in the church and larger culture. Why do these three writers assume such divergent images of their audience? Why do texts by three writers who each embrace their Southern locale and their Catholic beliefs seem to have so little in common? To answer these questions, Nisly helps readers understand these authors' fiction by examining the role that place and time had in shaping each author's idea of an audience-and, by extension, his or her manner of addressing that audience. More specifically, Nisly focuses on each author's experience of Catholic community and each author's placement in relation to the Second Vatican Council. Linking together biographical information and a reading of their fiction, Nisly argues that O'Connor's, Gautreaux's, and Percy's sense of audience has been shaped in significant ways by each author's own local experience of Catholicism in his or her home region as well as the larger, global changes of Vatican II that transformed Roman Catholicism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Flannery O'Connor: The Writer as Prophet to Wingless Chickensp. 27
O'Connor's Surprisingly Surprising Fictionp. 49
Tim Gautreaux: The Writer as Companion to Bayou Catholicsp. 73
Gautreaux's Tales of Humor and Moral Choicesp. 96
Walker Percy: The Writer as Diagnostic Canary to Pilgrim Wayfarersp. 137
Percy's Edgy Satiric Fictionp. 159
Conclusionp. 187
Notesp. 191
Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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