Carson McCullers

(1917–1967)

Carson McCullers

Anecdote...

Carson McCuller’s mother was on a bus en route to visit her daughter in New York when she fell into conversation with a lady of aristocratic mien who said she was fond of reading. The proud mother immediately began a lengthy monologue on her daughter’s extraordinary literary talents. After some time the other woman mentioned that her father had also been a writer. Carson’s mother asked her name. “Countess Tolstoy,” was the answer.

What the critics said...

“Miss McCullers and perhaps Mr. Faulkner are the only writers since the death of D. H. Lawrence with an original poetic sensibility. I prefer Miss McCullers to Mr. Faulkner because she writes more clearly; I prefer her to D. H. Lawrence because she has no message.”

—Graham Greene

“It is not so much that the novel [The Heart is a Lonely Hunter] paved the way for what became the American Southern gothic genre, but that it at once encompassed it and went beyond it.”

—Eliot Fremont-Smith
Biographical Note: 

Carson McCullers was an American writer, novelist and playwright. She wrote novels, short stories, and two plays, as well as essays and some poetry. Her first novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South. Her other novels have similar themes and are all set in the American South. She suffered from poor health for the last 15 years of her life.