Southern Literary Journal
"Altogether engaging. It is good to be reminded just how philosophically and theologically aware O'Connor was."
Catholic Library World
"O'Connor has been the subject of several recent literary studies, but Wood merits special note for his insightful book. . . . Highly recommended to all academic libraries and O'Connor fans."
"Not only is Wood's book cogently and passionately argued, it also demonstrates that there are still new insights to be gleaned from theological approaches to O'Connor — the well isn't dry, after all."
Times Literary Supplement
"Powerful. Wood's literary analysis is sensitively balanced, and his theological dissection fills a void in the relatively small existing body of O'Connor criticism. . . Wood has successfully refreshed O'Connor's message for a new generation of scholarship."
The Christian Century
"The result of a lifetime of thought and careful scholarship. . . Wood is an ideal guide to O'Connor's work and thought."
"This book is an intelligent companion to some great writing that is strongly situated both in its region and in its theological tradition."
The Charlotte Observer
"Wood offers us a wonderful guide to the mysteries of O'Connor's writings, as well as an insightful look at her life in the Christ-haunted South."
"In this excellent and lucid study of O'Connor's theological and cultural convictions, Wood relates the grotesque in O'Connor's work to her understanding that Christianity requires an all-or-nothing response. . . Anyone pursuing study of O'Connor's work will enjoy this book. Recommended."
The Virginia Quarterly Review
"An admirably lively study of that particular mix of fundamentalist fire and Southern riotousness underlying O'Connor's works of fiction. . . Without undue sermonizing, this book does double duty as a readable guide to the theological bases of sin and salvation in O'Connor's fiction, and as a tribute to how bravely and viscerally O'Connor's voice speaks to whatever ? or whoever ? swings in the backs of our twenty-first-century minds."
Publishers Weekly - Starred Review
"Ralph Wood, one of our most astute critics of Christianity and literature, offers a splendid study of O'Connor, one of our most enigmatic Southern writers. . . Wood's elegant exploration of her theological reading of Southern culture provides fresh insight into her relevance for us today."
John R. May
"Ralph Wood's capacity for relating great literature not only to our personal lives but also to the world we live in is without parallel. As he persuasively presents and analyzes Flannery O'Connor's works, her Christ-haunted South becomes, whether we like it or not, our world. Wood is without a doubt the ecumenical master of the cultural and ecclesial significance of fiction. There is no other critic of the theological dimension of fiction that I would rather read."
"In Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South Ralph Wood explores the religious landscape of O'Connor's fiction in light of her own comment that 'subject matter has more to do with region than religion, at least in fiction.' Wood's book offers a compelling description of Southern culture and religion, nicely weaving O'Connor's insights and engagement with that region into his discussion. What Wood sees with particular clarity, and argues with remarkable vitality, is how O'Connor's religious fiction gives voice 'to those whom official history has left almost unnoticed.' In this sense Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South is a revealing study of the South that also captures effectively O'Connor's prophetic gift for bringing that religious culture to life."
"Ralph Wood brilliantly combines a close analysis of Flannery O'Connor's fiction with a broader examination of the Christ-haunted culture in which she lived. With characteristic wit and vigor, Wood has crafted a dazzling lens through which we may examine the prospects that lie before American culture and the church. This is a superb book about one of modern America's most accomplished writers."
"Ralph Wood is one of our finest Christian literary critics. This book's affirmation of Flannery O'Connor's radical sacramentalism as the most hope-filled antidote to secularist nihilism is the rich fruit of years of research and reflection. In elucidating O'Connor's 'angular orthodoxy,' Wood reveals his own. The result is a bracing challenge to corrosive cultural commonplaces that even many Christians parrot."
"This is not the first time Ralph Wood has entered the fictional territory of the incomparable Flannery O'Connor, but he does so here with even greater focus and intensity. More knowingly than any other critic, Wood illuminates the artistry and faith of a devout Catholic whose greatest work grew out of respectful, even loving dissonance with those 'other' Christians, the Christ-haunted Protestants of the American South."