You should not try to say the name “Flannery O’Connor” at three in the morning. You can try, you really can – I won’t stop you – but you and your tongue will find yourselves more than surprised by what happens to the sounds there in your mouth.
That name is too fancy.
Just look at everything going on there: so many Ns and Os thrown in, there’s an apostrophe to think about, the Rs end up raging around your teeth more than you anticipate, and the drunken slide into the “YO” there in the middle can get carried out to sea without warning.
You’re drowning. It’s just too much.
The deceptively slippery “FLA –” flinging you out the gate at the beginning just doesn’t prepare you for all the mountains coming. Your pronunciation is going to fall up the stairs and all over itself, and the shock of speaking will catch you off guard.
I judge inebriation by how easily I can or cannot articulate this name. If I cannot tell anyone decisively and with fluidity who wrote “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, it is time for Mama to retire for the night.
You’re confused, I know. Here’s where we’re going: local author Greenfield Jones has probably said this name a time or two or six – he’s got quite the moniker himself. He probably knows exactly what goes on at 3am with heavy eyes, a dizzy head and more to say than words to use. He probably knows because the queen of Southern Gothic (that would be Flannery O’Connor) gets straight props as an inspiration to his new collection of short stories, Don’t Lose This, It’s My Only Copy and Other Stories. And you can totally ask him about it in person this Saturday, January 26th at Carmichael’s Bookstore.
Naming both fancy pants Flannery and Peter DeVries as influences for his book, Greenfield Jones takes readers on a romp through the unusual as he spins human tales of trouble in Don’t Lose This. Focusing on people “uncomfortable in the secular world”, Jones writes of everything from a woman who changes her horoscopic sign (and her personality) every few months to a blue-eyed blond longing to be an American Indian, bringing absurdity and perspective to the forefront. Catch Jones starting at 4pm at the Frankfort Avenue store. Copies of his book are available at both locations and apparently for only $.40 –but that seems extremely suspect, nay absurd. Hmm...
Nighttime is another planet. It’s almost like living underground or in the space behind the back of a mirror that is surely-really a tunnel. In the dark things act different. I know because I’ve tried to talk about literature under the glow of streetlamps. If you’re willing to find me at 3am – it’s not too difficult if you ask politely – look me in the eye and ask me point blank: who wrote “Good Country People”? If I can’t tell you, then you’ll know we’ve crossed over.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page  or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com