Jessica Hooten Wilson is an associate professor of literature and creative writing at John Brown University, where she also serves as the Associate Director for the Honors Scholars Program and the Director of Giving Voice: A Festival of Writing and the Arts. She is the author of three books Giving the Devil His Due: Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky (Wipf & Stock, 2017), Walker Percy, Dostoevsky and the Search for Influence (Ohio State University Press, 2017), and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels (Louisiana State University Press, 2018). In 2017 she was a fellow at Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought, funded by the Templeton Foundation. Visit her website at jessicahootenwilson.com.
There are three books that I teach every year, and several more that I routinely recommend to students to read before they graduate.
Our inability to see our own problems is a universal failing. O’Connor can provide a balm to political and racial tensions—if we're willing to accept her wisdom.
Instead of trying to be original, allow yourself to be influenced by the giants who preceded you. Greatness may follow.