KLRU features an evening with three writers on Monday, April 2.
American Masters “Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel” at 8 pm
No ordinary writer and no ordinary woman — “Gone with the Wind” created two of the world’s greatest lovers, Scarlett and Rhett, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and has sold more than 30 million copies. Born into Atlanta’s upper crust in 1900, Margaret Mitchell challenged stifling social restrictions at every turn. A charismatic force to be reckoned with, she had a great sense of humor, was one of Georgia’s first newspaper women and was extremely generous with the money she made from “Gone with the Wind.” She struggled with the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans but also suffered from lifelong bouts of depression, until a tragic accident lead to her death in 1949. This film examines the amazing endurance of “Gone with the Wind” and reveals the seminal events of Mitchell’s life through dramatic re-enactments based on her letters, as scenes from the movie weave together her life and her work.
American Masters “Harper Lee: Hey Boo!” at 9 pm
Reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been a national pastime for five decades — it is still selling nearly a million copies a year, its classic popularity and power are a common reference. And the courtroom image of Gregory Peck, as the passionate Atticus Finch, gave us an enduring picture for the novel’s message. Behind it all was a young Southern girl named Nelle Harper Lee, who once said she wanted to be Alabama’s Jane Austen. This program explores her life and unravels its mysteries, particularly why she never published again. Illuminated with family photos, revealing personal letters and an exclusive interview with her sister, Alice Finch Lee (100 years old), the film is steeped in the texture of the novel’s Deep South and the social changes it inspired. Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, Anna Quindlen, Scott Turow, Oprah Winfrey and Andrew Young reflect on how “Mockingbird” shaped their lives.
Storied Life of Mildred Wirt Benson at 10:30 pm
Storied Life of Mildred Wirt Benson recounts the inspiring life story of author, reporter and adventurer Mildred Wirt Benson. Benson, who died in 2002 at the age of 96, is better known as Carolyn Keene, the ghostwriter of the first 23 Nancy Drew mysteries who was responsible for the developing the famous young character as an independent, bold and risk-taking female sleuth. Storied Life of Mildred Wirt Benson is an inspirational story for viewers of all ages, particularly for avid Nancy Drew fans. The program features contemporary video, archival films and photographs, interviews, and commentary by literary experts and family members who knew her best. The program provides an “insider’s view” on how serial children’s books of the 1920s through the 1950s were conceived, created and marketed.