"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is a 1940 novel by the American author Carson McCullers. The novel was well received after its publication and was ranked by the Modern Library as number seventeen on the list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The novel centers around a deaf-mute man named John Singer and his relationship with four individuals who befriend him and … [Read more...]
Carson McCullers was born Lula Carson Smith on February 19th, 1917 in Columbus, Georgia. The daughter of a jeweler she began writing at the age of fifteen when her father gifted her a typewriter.
After graduating high school, Carson left home for New York City to study piano at Juilliard School of Music. However, she soon fell ill with rheumatic fever and had to return home to recover at which point she decided not to return to Juilliard. She soon returned to New York but began pursuing a writing career instead. She worked several jobs while attending night classes at Columbia University.
In 1936, Carson published her first work. “Wunderkind” is an autobiographical story about a music prodigy that was published in Story magazine. In September of 1937, when Carson was only 20 years old she married another aspiring writer, Reeves McCullers and the couple moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Three years later, Carson completed and published her first novel, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." The novel was successful and Carson began to make a name for herself as a writer. Carson published her second novel, "Reflections in a Golden Eye" in 1941 and went on to publish six more novels in her lifetime.
In 1941, Carson divorced her husband and moved back to New York City to live with another man. Carson was bisexual and also pursued relationships with women. In 1945, Carson remarried Reeves McCullers. Three years later, she attempted to commit suicide. Reeves, who was similarly depressed, tried to convince her to commit suicide with him. But Carson left him and he later killed himself by overdosing on sleeping pills in their hotel in Paris.
After suffering from rheumatic fever at the age of 15, Carson continued to suffer from affect effects in the form of strokes for the rest of her life. She also suffered from other illnesses and was a chronic alcoholic. By the time she was 31 years old, she was completely paralyzed on the left side of her body. On September 29th, 1967 she died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 50. She was buried in Nyack, New York where she died.