The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000 - Fiction - 359 pages
109 Reviews
With the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated--and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the New York Times. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

With a promising opening: "In the town there were two mutes and they were always together," the book evolves into an unremitting sense of dread for each character. Mick Kelly falls off roof - or worse ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmckeown - LibraryThing

I dimly remember reading Carson McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter around the time we were reading To Kill a Mockingbird. At the least, my current reading of McCullers reminds me of Harper Lee’s ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Chapter 1
3
Chapter 2
13
Chapter 3
33
Chapter 4
53
Chapter 5
70
Chapter 6
90
Part Two
95
Chapter 1
97
Chapter 8
223
Chapter 9
238
Chapter 10
251
Chapter 11
264
Chapter 12
279
Chapter 13
288
Chapter 14
305
Chapter 15
319

Chapter 2
121
Chapter 3
135
Chapter 4
149
Chapter 5
160
Chapter 6
181
Chapter 7
198
Part Three
327
Chapter 1
329
Chapter 2
337
Chapter 3
350
Chapter 4
354
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About the author (2000)

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands . Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

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