One of the new U.S. Postal Service stamps to be issued this summer

One of the new U.S. Postal Service stamps to be issued this summer

It kind of makes you want to take special care with your letter, doesn't it? Knowing that the serene and knowing face of  Flannery O'Connor will be stuck to your envelope?

The U.S. Postal Service will issue the O'Connor "forever stamp" next month. It's the 30th in the Literary Arts series of stamps, which also honors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Zora Neale Hurston, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and, inexplicably, Ayn Rand.

O'Connor wrote two novels ("Wise Blood" and "The Violent Bear it Away") and 32 short stories, all steeped in Southern Gothic darkness, Catholicism, and the grotesque. ("Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic," she once said.)

She won the National Book Award in 1971 for her Complete Stories, which included both collections "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Everything That Rises Must Converge."

The stamp will cost 93 cents (forever!) and can be used for mailings weighing three ounces. (A typical letter is one ounce) It will be issued June 5 a the NAPEX Stamp Show in McLean, Virginia.

Other stamps to be issued this summer include coastal birds (for postcards), wedding cake (two-ounce, 71 cents) and vintage tulips (also two-ounce).

But Flannery is by far the coolest.

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