Flannery | American Masters

Mar 19, 2021

Tue. Mar. 23 at 8pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Explore the world of a literary icon whose provocative fiction was unlike anything published before.

The first feature-length documentary with full access to the Flannery O’Connor trust, American Masters: Flannery explores the life and legacy of the literary icon with never-before-seen archival footage, original animations, O’Connor’s newly discovered personal letters and excerpts from her stories read by actress Mary Steenburgen. Featuring new, original interviews with Mary Karr, Hilton Als, Alice Walker, Tobias Wolff, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice McDermott and others, alongside archival interviews of friends and family, American Masters: Flannery premieres in honor of Women’s History Month.

A devout Catholic who collected peacocks and walked with crutches due to lupus, O’Connor’s illness, religion and experience as a Southerner informed her provocative, sharply aware stories about outsiders, prophets and sinners seeking truth and redemption. With her distinctive Southern Gothic writing style and characteristic wit and irony, the film investigates how O’Connor didn’t shy away from examining timely themes of racism, religion, socioeconomic disparity and more. Over the course of her short but prolific writing career, she published 2 novels, published 32 short stories, published numerous columns and commentaries and won many awards, including the National Book Award and 3 O. Henry Awards, the annual award given to short stories of exceptional merit.

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

Now in its 34th season on PBS, American Masters illuminates the lives and creative journeys of our nation’s most enduring artistic giants: those who have left an indelible impression on our cultural landscape.