The Solace of Fierce Landscapes is not about Flannery O'Connor per se, it explores the theme of grace and the grotesque that runs through her stories. According to Lane, "the grotesque is born out of a dislocation that people feel in an estranged world. In periods of personal or cultural crisis, human beings experience a loss of control in a universe that's no longer reliable. The grotesque mirrors their fear of the incomprehensible; it recalls to mind an ominousness they cannot name." (Lane, p.31) At the same time, the grotesque is "a daring exercise in summoning the absurd, making fun of what is feared. Its goal is to defeat, at least in the space of a brief moment's laughter, the powers of darkness." (Lane, p. 32) Thomas Mann once said that "the grotesque is the only guise in which the sublime may appear."(source of quote not provided in Lane, p. 32) I don't know if the German author ever read Flannery (her first collection of short stories was published the year he died), but never has there been a clearer, more concise statement on why she chose to populate her stories with so many freaks.