When celebrated American novelist and short story writer Flannery O’Connor died at the age of 39 in 1964, she left behind an unfinished third novel titled, “Why Do the Heathen Rage?” Scholarly experts uncovered and studied the material, deeming it unpublishable. It stayed that way for 40 years. Until now.

For the past 10-plus years, award-winning author Jessica Hooten Wilson has explored the 378 pages of typed and handwritten material of the novel—transcribing pages, organizing them into scenes, and collating everything to provide a glimpse into what O’Connor might have planned to publish. “Flannery O’Connor’s Why Do the Heathen Rage: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Work in Progress” is the result.

In this episode, Acton alumni and student programs manager Noah Gould speaks to Jessica Hooten Wilson about introducing O’Connor’s unfinished novel to the public for the first time.

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Why Do the Heathen Rage | Jessica Hooten Wilson

How Racist Was Flannery O’Connor? | The New Yorker

There the Story Stops: Flannery O’Connor’s Why Do the Heathen Rage? | Sally Thomas, RLO

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Published in: General