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Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor$
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Alison Arant and Jordan Cofer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831798

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831798.001.0001

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“God Made Me Thisaway”: Crip-queer Perspectives on Flannery O’Connor

“God Made Me Thisaway”: Crip-queer Perspectives on Flannery O’Connor

(p.36) “God Made Me Thisaway”: Crip-queer Perspectives on Flannery O’Connor
Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor

Bruce Henderson

University Press of Mississippi

Drawing on disability studies and queer theory, Bruce Henderson uses a “crip-queer” lens to read “A Temple of the Holy Ghost” and “The River.” Henderson argues that while O’Connor rarely writes non-heteronormative characters, there are, in fact, several “queer” figures in O’Connor’s fiction, who don’t play into normative roles. Furthermore, Henderson notes that despite the number of disabled characters who populate O’Connor’s stories, few scholars write about O’Connor from a disability studies lens. Henderson recognizes the complications that most likely contribute to this critical gap, ranging from O’Connor’s orthodox Catholic beliefs about sexuality on the one hand, to the uneasy relationship between associating queerness and cripness on the other. However, he argues that a crip-queer approach provides a useful way into understanding the function of nonnormative bodies and souls in O’Connor’s work.

Keywords:   Crip-queer, Disability studies, Queer theory, Catholicism, Sexuality

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