Why YA novelist S.K. Ali loves Flannery O'Connor's fiction
This interview originally aired on Feb. 5, 2018.
"I like to revisit The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor. I think it might be because O'Connor was a person of faith, which I identify strongly with as a practicing Muslim. I love that she explores what it means to be a person of faith versus a person who pretends faith — that's one of the themes in my book as well."
A writer's quest
"When I was reading O'Connor's stories as a teen, I actually read them for that element of creepiness. Her characters are not who they say they are, so there is that mystery there. Later on, upon rereading her stories, I saw that other layer that was there. I read her biography and I saw that she was really into examining why faith does not affect actions. It happens all around the world — people, supposedly, of faith are doing heinous things. I saw that she took time to look into this, and yet she still kept her faith. She's one of the titans of American literature, so I'd love to do that in my fiction as well."
S.K. Ali's comments have been edited and condensed.