Flannery O’Connor turned down the first publisher’s offer to pick up Wise Blood. Despite being an O’Connor fan, I hadn’t read the letter, but Terry Teachout has thoughtfully posted it at About Last Night. Here’s an excerpt:
In short, I am amenable to criticism but only within the sphere of what I am trying to do; I will not be persuaded to do otherwise. The finished book, though I hope less angular, will be just as odd if not odder than the nine chapters you have now. The question is: is Rinehart interested in publishing this kind of novel?