Honoring Flannery O’Connor, A Woman of Depth

Flannery O’Connor represents one of the 20th century’s most influential voices in American literature. Getting to know this writer is no easy task, but a new documentary, Flannery, may offer more clarity as it explores her short life. It also delves into her fiction, which was unlike anything ever published before.

Her work relied heavily on regional settings in Georgia, where she lived most of her life. But if you look for her grave in Milledgeville, where she died at 39-years-old, you may find the search as challenging as her novels are to grasp in one reading. It is not unusual to reread her short stories multiple times and come to different conclusions. Her humorous side comes through as she pokes fun at the world and herself while simultaneously writing deep, dark, and violent stories providing serious commentary on humankind.

Whether you read her novels or her short stories, her characters are difficult to forget. Her most read collection of short stories, A Good Man is Hard to Find, is an excellent way to begin reading O’Connor. Her first novel, Wise Blood, did not receive critical acclaim when initially published, but it has gained respect over the years as her reputation has grown steadily since she passed in 1964.

Read HERE to follow in her footsteps in Milledgeville, and her place of birth, Savannah.

Click HERE to watch the trailer – you will need to scroll to the bottom of the PBS page for the film Flannery, premiering on PBS on March 23.