The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: And Other Stories

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: And Other Stories

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by Carson McCullers
     
 

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A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella “The Ballad of the Sad Café.” A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café

Overview

A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella “The Ballad of the Sad Café.” A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town’s gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes “Wunderkind,” McCullers’s first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. Newly reset and available for the first time in a handsome trade paperback edition, The Ballad of the Sad Café is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South’s finest writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618565863
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/05/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
169,695
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 19, 1917
Date of Death:
November 29, 1967
Place of Birth:
Columbus, Georgia
Place of Death:
Nyack, New York
Education:
Columbia University and New York University, 1935

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Ballad of the Sad Cafe 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
McCullers was an extraordinary writer. There is some truly beautiful work in here, lush and poetic . Philistines will see no merit, but even references to daily life in that region and era are of interest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was somewhat dreary and depressing, and hard to get through at places, but I thought the story was very interesting. Recomended if you like her style of writing.
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discerningreader More than 1 year ago
Miss Amelia is a masculine acting weatlhy loner in a small town who knows only how to use people for a profit. until she falls for an unappealing stranger who comes to town and claims kinship. The deformed cousin Lymon, who is about two feet shorter than her (Huh?-) coughs, is scared of the night, chatters, stirs up quarrels and seems to develop an arrogant air of entitlement. Miss Amelia's love transforms her from her recluse stingy ways and she opens a Café at her General Store and years pass as she loves and favors Lymon. Told in flashback, we then see how Miss Amelia herself was the object of love, several years ago, by a Marvin Macy who himself had reformed his nefarious ways when he inexplicably falls for her. After only a ten day marriage, during which Miss Amelia refuses a normal marital physical relationship and kicks Macy out, Macy returns to crime. The story shifts back to the present and we see how Macy returns to the town with a vindictive attitude. Cousin Lymon develops obsessive love (What? Macy is insulting to Lymon!) Contemptuous onlookers in the small southern town enjoy gossip about the past/ present miseries. With their voices readers see how the "beloveds" exploit those who love. Miss Amelia and Macy have a fist fight and Lymon interferes so Macy can live. Then we flip to a sene about a chain gang of prisoners who work and sing cooperatively together. Wow! I get it, there is no requited love in this world, except for brotherly love and harmony and only when people are bound together in chains and have no choice. Clearly author Carson McCullers really was a mixed up sort of gal. It is no surprise to read her personal history. If this is an example of the best of any genre, mankind is as troubled as the author apparently was. Why do school districts require this as reading? The constant references to Cousin Lymon's unfortunate deformity were unnecessary and insulting, since that same deformity is present in my own family history, but more importantly, it did not illustrate any great thoughts about anything. Perhaps this book fulfills a need to get reluctant students to write vividly about something. The "Ballad of Sad Café" a "classic", and movies and plays have been made about this grim story. The flawed exaggerated characters don't garner lasting interest and the plot is hugely implausible. Perhaps the book could evoke discussions of gender reversals in doomed multi-sexual love triangles. (a narrow draw!) 73 pages should go quickly, right? Not so. Read this story only if you must.