The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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Modern Library, 1940 - Fiction - 430 pages
77 Reviews
"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" was published in the spring of 1940, and was immediately a literary sensation. Carson McCullers was only twenty-three years old, had lived in a small southern town for most of her life, and this was her first novel. But she had read widely in Dostoevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Eugene O'Neill, and her knowledge and insight into her characters transcended her real experience.

Mick Kelly, the adolescent at the center of this strange and brooding novel, is very much the girl McCullers had been in Georgia -- passionately musical, and attracted to freaks and outcasts. Mick's spiritual kinship with John Singer, a deaf mute, and with other social misfits, provides a haunting look into the abyss encountered by human beings in their attempts at love.

Years later, McCullers's friend Tennessee Williams wrote that she "owned the heart and the deep understanding of it, but in addition she had that 'tongue of angels' that gave her power to sing of it, to make of it an anthem."

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User Review  - MaureenCean - LibraryThing

This is definitely a very good book and I am sure the discussion at our book club this week will be stimulating. The high rating is well deserved, I just can't go any higher because it is not a happy ... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

This is a poignant tale of abject loneliness. John Singer is a deaf mute living in a moderate-sized town in the South. He is "befriended" by four other citizens - Jake Blount (a drunkard and carny ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
11
Section 3
34
Copyright

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About the author (1940)

Carson McCullers was born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917. She died at age fifty in Nyack, New York, on September 29, 1967. A promising pianist, she had hoped to enroll at the Juilliard School of Music when she was seventeen, but when she arrived in New York, she attended writing classes at Columbia University instead. In December 1936 her first story, "Wunderkind," was published in "Story" magazine. That winter she began work on "The Mute," which would become her enduring masterpiece, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

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