Flannery on American Masters

Explore the world of a literary icon whose provocative fiction was unlike anything published before.

  • Fred Vigeant
Watch Flannery on American Masters Tuesday, March 23 at 8:00pm on WITF. You can stream WITF TV live on our website and through the PBS Video app on Roku, Apple TV and iPhone and Android smartphones. The program is also available on-demand through the PBS Video app.

 

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. The documentary features interviews with Mary Karr, Hilton Als, Alice Walker, Tobias Wolff, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice McDermott and others, alongside archival interviews of friends and family.

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 two novels, 32 short stories, numerous columns and commentaries, and won many awards, including the National Book Award and three O. Henry Awards, the annual award given to short stories of exceptional merit.

American Masters: Flannery premieres March 23 at 8:00pm on WITF in honor of Women’s History Month. This episode of American Masters is also available on-demand through the PBS Video app.

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