The Lonely Hunter: A Biography of Carson McCullers

Overview

The Lonely Hunter is widely accepted as the standard biography of Carson McCullers. Author of such landmarks of modern American fiction as Reflections in a Golden Eye and The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers was the enfant terrible of the literary world of the 1940s and 1950s. Gifted but tormented, vulnerable but exploitative, McCullers led a life that had all the elements—and more—of a tragic novel.

From McCullers's birth in Columbus, Georgia, in 1917 to her death in ...

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Overview

The Lonely Hunter is widely accepted as the standard biography of Carson McCullers. Author of such landmarks of modern American fiction as Reflections in a Golden Eye and The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers was the enfant terrible of the literary world of the 1940s and 1950s. Gifted but tormented, vulnerable but exploitative, McCullers led a life that had all the elements—and more—of a tragic novel.

From McCullers's birth in Columbus, Georgia, in 1917 to her death in upstate New York in 1967, The Lonely Hunter thoroughly covers every significant event in, and aspect of, the writer's life: her rise as a young literary sensation; her emotional, artistic, and sexual eccentricities and entanglements; her debilitating illnesses; her travels in America and Europe; and the provenance of her works from their earliest drafts through their book, stage, and film versions.

To research her subject, Virginia Spencer Carr visited all of the important places in McCullers's life, read virtually everything written by or about her, and interviewed hundreds of McCullers's relatives, friends, and enemies. The result is an enduring, distinguished portrait of a brilliant, but deeply troubled, writer.

Eccentric, childish, haunted by demons, and an artist who took the literary world by storm at the age of 23

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sensitive, balanced, authoritative . . . A work of prodigious research and unblinking honesty—the kind of biography that leaves the reader replete with the sense of having vicariously experienced a life as it was lived."—New York Times

"Fascinating . . . From the pages of The Lonely Hunter emerges the essential spirit of a consequential and controversial American writer."—New York Times Book Review

"Carr's biography is full, sympathetic, and frank. She knows Carson McCullers's life and work inside out."—Newsweek

"Likely to become the definitive biography of McCullers"—Library Journal

“Admirable . . . Offers the best picture we are likely to get of an almost incomprehensibly neurotic personality."—New Yorker

New York Times
Sensitive, balanced, authoritative . . . A work of prodigious research and unblinking honesty--the kind of biography that leaves the reader replete with the sense of having vicariously experienced a life as it was lived.
Newsweek
Carr's biography is full, sympathetic, and frank. She knows Carson McCullers's life and work inside out.
The New Yorker
Admirable . . . Offers the best picture we are likely to get of an almost incomprehensibly neurotic personality.
New York Times Book Review
Fascinating . . . From the pages of The Lonely Hunter emerges the essential spirit of a consequential and controversial American writer.
Library Journal
"This is likely to become the definitive biography of McCullers," predicted LJ's reviewer. McCuller's life and work are unraveled here in excruciating detail, from her childhood and rise in the literary world in the 1940s and 1950s to her untimely death at age 50 in 1967. In addition to the original introduction by Tennessee Williams, this edition has a new preface by Carr and remains "recommended for most academic and public libraries" (LJ 6/1/75). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820325224
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 680
  • Sales rank: 1,188,188

Meet the Author

Virginia Spencer Carr holds the John B. and Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Distinguished Chair in English at Georgia State University. Her books include Understanding Carson McCullers, Dos Passos: A Life, and a biography of Paul Bowles.

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Table of Contents

Some Words Before
Preface
A Note from the Author
1 Georgia Girlhood 1
2 Apprenticeship in New York City 41
3 Marriage and the Heart 74
4 New York's New Literary Darling, Summer 1940 97
5 7 Middagh Street, A Queer Menage 117
6 New York City and Yaddo, 1941 141
7 Columbus and Yaddo, Fall 1941-Winter 1942 186
8 Reconciliation and Remarriage: Columbus and Nyack, 1943-45 224
9 Nyack and Paris, 1945-47 255
10 Gloom and Elation: Nyack and Broadway, 1948-50 294
11 Fame and Disillusionment, 1950-53 352
12 Emergence from the Chrysalis, 1953-55 404
13 The Last Years: Dissolution and Regeneration 449
Notes 538
Genealogies 561
A Chronology of Carson Smith McCullers 568
Bibliography 580
Index 585
Picture Credits 599
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