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A Faith-Drenched View of the South

American Masters’ Flannery O’Connor documentary sheds light on the Georgia author’s unique view of life.

Growing up on the outskirts of metro Atlanta, the city of Milledgeville was the punch line to jokes for a long time. For many years, the Central State Hospital was probably Milledgeville’s claim to fame (even though the town was the state capitol before Atlanta was), and the line was that if you were crazy enough, someone would take you to Milledgeville.

The funny thing is that Milledgeville has so much more going for it than a mental institution. It’s a college town, with Georgia College & State University responsible for much of the town’s social life, and one of Georgia’s greatest writers called it home.

I’ve cherished Flannery O’Connor’s work for decades, and her name even made its way into my book (which will soon see new life) back in 2015. Her short stories, novels, letters, and published prayer journals have gripped me for their Southernness as well as her emphasis on faith, though her Catholic upbringing and my Christian Church/non-denominational background give us different approaches to Christianity.