In what I believe must be the first full biography of Flannery O'Connor, Brad Gooch's Flannery [Little, Brown, Feb. 25] has created a fascinating portrayal of one of the greatest short story writers of our century. Gooch is a terrific writer who follows O'Connor's story from her fascinating youth and budding talent to her tragic end. He tells her story in an anecdotal style, as O'Connor surely would have done herself. Gooch interviewed a surprising number of people who knew O'Connor, and using his writing and researching talents, he dives deep into her past to assemble interesting stories. By the end of this portrait, a real person has emerged. An enormous amount of information comes from her letters—she didn't hide many secrets. I can't remember the last biography I read, but I finished this book in two late nights and then headed for my collection of her stories. Fans of Southern literature and literary biographies will find it a treat.