Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor

The 30th stamp in the Literary Arts series honors Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), who crafted unsettling and darkly comic stories and novels about the potential for enlightenment and grace in what seem like the worst possible moments.

The color portrait on this stamp, a watercolor painting completed digitally, is based on a black-and-white photograph taken when O’Connor was a student at the Georgia State College for Women from 1942 to 1945. Surrounding O’Connor are peacock feathers, a symbol often associated with the author.

From the escaped convict in her famous story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” to the nihilistic street preacher in her novel Wise Blood, O’Connor populated her fiction with criminals, con artists, misfits, and freaks, and she delighted in confronting readers with a harsh and humbling mirror. “The freak in modern fiction is usually disturbing to us,” she explained, “because he keeps us from forgetting that we share in his state.”

Although O’Connor’s stories frequently culminate in acts of violence, her goal was not merely to be lurid. Instead, she hoped to shock readers toward moral and religious revelations, difficult messages that she knew readers might overlook or resist. “To the hard of hearing you shout,” she insisted, “and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”

The stamp set is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.

Postal Service Employees Share their Experiences

Photo by Dave Reynolds

We often share the stories of our working lives with friends and family to let them know what we do when they’re not around. Some of those stories are quite unique and offer a fascinating perspective into a life that others will likely never experience. To celebrate and share the many facets of working life at the Postal Service, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has recently launched a new website dedicated to the men and women of the 237-year-old American icon.

Within this new site, called People and the Post, visitors will have the opportunity to read stories about life as a postal employee aboard the USS Nimitz, on a railway mail car, and handling military mail in the Philippines. There are a variety of other stories to enjoy as well, and many have a video interview accompanying the story. The site also invites current and former postal employees to share their stories and experiences about their time with the Postal Service.

The People and the Post website offers a unique opportunity to have the working lives of postal employees immortalized within the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

What interesting stories would you like to share with future generations?

Calling All Authors, Photographers and Story Tellers!

Hello all, Benny here. I love writing stories about as much as I enjoy reading them. In fact, I used to write for my brothers’ newspaper when I first got started, but I wasn’t satisfied with just my own perspective. That’s too boring! So, without James knowing about it, I wrote under the pseudo name Silence Dogood among others. I had a lot of fun with that, and to this day I’m not sure my brother ever knew it was me. Keep that just between us though, ok?

Like I said, I enjoy reading stories, and the more the better. That’s where you come in. I’m looking for stories from other perspectives that stir my soul. Stories that are fun, adventurous, and downright quirky. A photo or two to capture the essence of your literary voyage would be wonderful if you could toss that in too.

I want to hear from you, and I’m sure I’m not the only one either. This is your postal blog as much as it is mine, so send me your creative postal stories about life, work, and even that turkey running across the employee parking lot to escape the farmer down the road.

I think it’s time for a snack, so send me those stories while I get ready for lunch. Hope to hear from you soon!

Benny

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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