“Though they’re all mostly short and entirely unpretentious, O’Connor’s stories leave me feeling winded and humbled. Her endings always manage to surprise me even when I’ve read them numerous times before. As a rule, you can generally read the first paragraph, close your eyes and imagine what the worst possible fate could be for the characters described, and then continue reading to gradually discover that whatever the worst-case scenario you had in mind, it probably wasn’t sufficiently horrifying. And yet somehow, with your head pounding, you know that the story was accelerating inevitably to this point from the very first word. This is the way it had to be, and to insist otherwise feels almost immodest. Somehow, you can even sense, beyond whatever it is O’Connor herself had in mind when she started, a voice affirming, amid the mind-bending messiness, ‘It is good.’ . . .
[O’Connor] can never be popular enough, because there’s something uniquely healing in her powers. She cures the heart of all desensitizing sentimentality. In her company, we will be shocked awake from whatever anaesthetizing spirits have rendered us incapable of thinking clearly about ourselves and the world we inhabit. She delivers us from the deluding evil that is ever apocalyptic’s moving target. Listening to her stories changes everything. A new world is busting through the fabric of folly. It isn’t polite. It isn’t what we’re expecting. And it’s offering us a choice that we will have to make, even if it kills us.”
(Everyday Apocalypse, 28-29)
And I says, yep and right on, amen, hear, hear, and all that.