U.S. # 5003
2015 93¢ Flannery O’Connor
Literary Arts Series
In her own words, Mary Flannery O’Connor (1925-64) was a Roman Catholic “not like someone else would be a Baptist or a Methodist, but like someone else would be an atheist.” Growing up in the Protestant South, the young writer identified as a religious outcast, but wholly embraced her faith.
O’Connor saw her talent and desire for writing as a God-given gift. She felt it was her divine calling, and answered it through literary works filled with imagery of original sin and questions of ethics and morality. Fiction was her religious pulpit.
Ironically, O’Connor did not write for her Catholic peers so much as for the Southern traditional Protestants whom she portrayed in her stories. Many believed her writing to be a satirical attack on the devoutly religious, but it was the opposite. O’Connor admired fundamentalists’ unwavering beliefs, though different from her own. Their convictions set them apart from Catholics and Protestant liberals.
O’Connor spent her last years at the family home in Georgia. She continued to write, but remarked “there won’t be any biographies of me because… lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.” Regarded as one of the greatest short story writers of the 20th century, she never knew how popular her writing would become.
Value: 93¢ 3-ounce non-denominated rate
Issued: June 5, 2015
First Day City: McClean, Va
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 120, with 6 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ¾
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000 stamps
The stamp art for the Flannery O’Connor stamp was created digitally to resemble a watercolor painting. It’s based on a photo taken of her when she was a student at the Georgia College for Women between 1942 and 1945. She is surrounded by peacock feathers, which is fitting as she once had more than 40 of the birds and wrote an essay about them that was later called “King of the Birds.” Flannery O'Connor is the 30th honoree in the Literary Art Series.