Several Dominican Nuns -- the Servants of Relief for incurable Cancer -- took part in writing the poignant and moving A Memoir of Mary Ann. Fortunately they convinced novelist Flannery O'Connor (The Violent Bear It Away, A Good Man Is Hard To Find) to edit it after she refused to write it. On the strength of her own absorption in the story she also provides a brilliant introduction. The result is a small book about a small girl who lived nine of her twelve years in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Free Cancer Home in Atlanta, Georgia, with one eye removed and a tumor growing on her face. Mary Ann Long was far from the goody-goody, cardboard saint type child often idealized in biographies like this. On the contrary she was a normal, mischievous little girl who loved puppies, babies, hamburgers and cokes, but who also had a great love for God and accepted heroically the fact that she was going to die. Her impact on the Nuns who cased for her, the other patients in the hospital, and on her own family in Kentucky was tremendous. After one meeting one was not conscious of her physical defect but recognized only her beautiful and brave spirit. In her introduction Flannery O'Connor out that ""the creative action of a Christian's life is to prepare for his death in . It is a continuous action in which this world's goods are utilized to the fullest, positive what Tellhard de Chardin calls 'passive diminishments'. Mary diminishme was extreme, but she was equipped by natural intelligence and by a available education not simply to endure it, but to build upon it. She was an extraordi rich little girl."" Readern of A Memoir of Mary Ann will also be the richer in spirit for having learned to know her in this unpretentious, thought-provoking little book.