In This Issue
Explore the October 1970 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Think of the bomb as a deity—“an all-powerful force, capable of both apocalyptic destruction and unlimited creation”—and everything’s all right. Isn’t it?
When Flannery O’Connor wrote this story, she was no more than twenty-two and a student at the Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa. In 1947 she received her Master of Fine Arts degree there after presenting, in place of a thesis, six stories, including “The Barber,” Of the six, one had been published in 1946 and two others were published in 1948, but none was included by the author in her collections.A Good Man is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge ( 1965). “The Barber” has never been published. As Miss O’Connor’s literary executor (she died in 1964). I have consented to this publication with a note making dear, as the foregoing facts do. the earliness of the story and its apparent standing in the estimation of the author. —Robert Fitzgerald