Cover image for Complete novels
Title:
Complete novels
Author:
McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967.
Uniform Title:
Novels
Publication Information:
New York : Library of America : Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
827 pages ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
Contents:
The heart is a lonely hunter -- Reflections in a golden eye -- The ballad of the sad café -- The member of the wedding -- Clock without hands.
Added Title:
Heart is a lonely hunter.

Reflections in a golden eye.

Ballad of the sad café.

Member of the wedding.

Clock without hands.
ISBN:
9781931082037
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

When The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in 1940, Carson McCullers was instantly recognized as one of the most promising writers of her generation. The novels that followed established her as a master of Southern Gothic. This Library of America volume collects McCullers's complete novels for the first time in a single-volume edition that reveals the power and breadth of her haunting vision.

"McCullers's gift," writes Joyce Carol Oates, "was to evoke, through an accumulation of images and musically repeated phrases, the singularity of experience, not to pass judgment on it." McCullers effortlessly conveyed the raw anguish of her characters and the weird beauty of their perceptions. Set in small Georgia towns that are at once precisely observed and mythically resonant, McCullers's novels explore the strange, sometimes grotesque inner lives of characters who are often marginal and misunderstood. Above all, McCullers possessed an unmatched ability to capture the bewilderment and fragile wonder of adolescence.

In The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), one of the most extraordinary debuts in modern American literature, an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a doctor, and a widowed owner of a small-town café. The disfiguring violence of desire is explored with shocking intensity in two shorter works, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad Café (1943).

The Member of the Wedding (1946), thought by many to be McCullers's masterpiece, hauntingly depicts a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding. In 13-year-old Frankie Addams, confused, easily wounded, yet determined to survive, McCullers created her most indelible protagonist. Clock Without Hands (1960), her final novel, was completed against great odds in the midst of tremendous physical suffering. Set against the background of court-ordered school integration, it contains some of McCullers's most forceful social criticism.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.


Author Notes

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."

(Publisher Provided) Carson McCullers was born Lula Carson Smith on February 19, 1917 in Columbus, Georgia. At the age of seventeen, desiring to become a famous concert pianist, she went to New York City to attend the Julliard School of Music. Her family sacrificed and raised money for her tuition to go to Julliard, but she lost all of her money when she left her pocketbook on the subway. Unable to tell her family what had happened, she took writing classes at Columbia University and New York University from 1935-1936.

Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, was published in 1940. Her other novels included Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Ballad of the Sad Café, The Member of the Wedding, and Clock Without Hands. With the help of Tennessee Williams, The Member of the Wedding was adapted into a play, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1950. She died from a stroke and subsequent brain hemorrhage on September 29, 1967at the age of 50.

(Bowker Author Biography)