In this feature-length documentary, Donald Harington, ‘America’s greatest unknown writer,’ describes the origins of Stay More, the fictional Ozark village where he sets his novels. Harington shares his childhood memories of the tiny town of Drakes Creek (the model for Stay More) and reflects on his troubled relationships with his parents and the devastating loss of his hearing at the age of 12. Harington also recounts the dubious joys of getting his early novels into print, with their sales never matching the favorable notices, blending these stories with humorous perspectives on the writer’s life (particularly the writerly penchant for liquor), religion, and sex. What emerges is a bittersweet portrait of an inspired but haunted artist, a writer deeply rooted in American folk traditions whose triumphs seemed always to be matched by deep disappointments, a novelist who not only blends comic relief into his tragedies but poignant ‘tragic relief’ into his comedies.
The World of Donald Harington
A Film by Brian Walter
Brian Walter is Associate Professor of English & Director of Convocations at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
Distributed for Brian Walter Productions.