Athens, Ga. – Marion Montgomery, one of Georgia’s most honored writers and an emeritus professor of English from the University of Georgia, has just published a new two-volume critical work called Hillbilly Thomist: Flannery O’Connor, St. Thomas, and the Limits of Art.
The work, published by McFarland & Company, Inc., is the fourth work by Montgomery published by the company recently.
Montgomery taught for 33 years in the department of English at UGA, though he has now been retired for some years. He wrote hundreds of poems, 27 short stories, three novels and one novella. He may be best known for a large body of critical work, especially on Flannery O’Connor, whom Montgomery knew, and he has published 17 books of literary and cultural criticism. He received numerous awards for his fiction and verse in the 1960s and early 1970s. In 2001 he received the Stanley W. Lindberg Award for outstanding contributions to Georgia’s literary heritage.
According to the publisher:
“In the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas . . . Flannery O’Connor’s concern for place can best be seen in the immediacies of things and persons. It is in relation to St. Thomas’ teaching, then, that O’Connor becomes comfortable in her place, Andalusia, that small farm just outside the small town of Milledgeville in middle Georgia. The abiding relationship between place—Andalusia or elsewhere—and a person comes out of human nature itself, evidenced in a person’s experiences of things in this place at this time.
“With that as background, [Montgomery’s] detailed analysis of O’Connor’s works lays to rest the author’s own self-deprecating description of herself as a `hillbilly’ Thomist. Instead we see in O’Connor’s writing a highly sophisticated mind, an inconvenience to the many critics who dismiss her as anti-intellectual.”
Montgomery is also the author of On Matters Southern (2005), Eudora Welty and Walker Percy (2004) and John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate (2003). In 2003, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute honored Montgomery with the Gerhart Niemeyer Award for Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship in Liberal Arts.
He lives in Crawford, Georgia.