A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find
First edition cover
AuthorFlannery O'Connor
CountryUnited States
GenreSouthern Gothic
Published1955 (Harcourt, Brace and Company)
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages256 pp

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories (published in the United Kingdom as The Artificial Nigger and Other Tales) is a collection of short stories by American author Flannery O'Connor. The collection was first published in 1955. The subjects of the short stories range from baptism ("The River") to serial killers ("A Good Man Is Hard to Find") to human greed and exploitation ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own"). The majority of the stories include jarring violent scenes that make the characters undergo a spiritual change. The short stories commonly have tones of Catholicism related to life and death scenarios. For instance, in the story "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" the villain states, "She would have been a good woman if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."


It contains the following stories:


The namesake comes from a 1920s blues song.

O'Connor's story title was taken from the blues song, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", written by Eddie Green and popularized by the singer Bessie Smith in 1927.


A television adaptation of the short story "The Life You Save May Be Your Own", starring Gene Kelly, was broadcast on the CBS network's Schlitz Playhouse on February 1, 1957. O'Connor was not pleased with the results, as evidenced in a letter to a friend: "The best I can say for it is that it conceivably could have been worse. Just conceivably."[1]

A short film adaptation of the story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", titled "Black Hearts Bleed Red", was released in 1993. The film was directed by New York filmmaker Jeri Cain Rossi and stars noted New York artist Joe Coleman.[2]

Musician Sufjan Stevens wrote a song titled "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" on his album Seven Swans; it is told from the viewpoint of the Misfit even though he is not the focus of the story.[3]

In May 2017, director John McNaughton and Michael Rooker will make a feature film adaptation.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fitzgerald, Sally (1979). Flannery O'Connor: The Habit of Being. Vintage. pp. 191, 205.
  2. ^ "Black Hearts Bleed Red (1993)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2013. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  3. ^ Pitchfork review
  4. ^ N'Duka, Amanda. "Michael Rooker Reteams With His 'Henry' Director On 'A Good Man Is Hard To Find'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 11 May 2017.

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