Carson McCullers

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McCullers, Carson,

1917–67, American novelist, b. Columbus, Ga. as Lula Carson Smith, studied at Columbia. The central theme of her novels is the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. Her characters are usually outcasts and misfits whose longings for love are never fulfilled. In her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), a deaf-mute is the focus of a circle of sad and tormented people. The Member of the Wedding (1946; dramatization, 1950), her best-known work, is the tender story of a lonely adolescent girl. Her other works include the novels Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and Clock without Hands (1961); a volume of stories, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951; title story dramatized by Edward AlbeeAlbee, Edward
, 1928–2016, American playwright, one of the leading dramatists of his generation, b. Washington, D.C., as Edward Harvey. His most characteristic work constitutes an absurdist commentary on American life, often conveying psychologically probing observations
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 in 1963); and a play, The Square Root of Wonderful (1958). As a result of misdiagnosed rheumatic fever in her adolescence, McCullers suffered a series of strokes during her twenties that left her partially paralyzed; during her last years she was confined to a wheelchair. A posthumous collection of her writings, The Mortgaged Heart, was published in 1972.


See her Complete Novels (2001); C. L. Dews, ed., Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers (1967, pub. 1999); biographies by O. W. Evans (1965), V. Spencer-Carr (1975), and J. Savigneau (2001); study by M. McDowell (1980).

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McCullers, Carson (b. Lula Carson Smith)

(1917–67) writer; born in Columbus, Ga. She studied at Columbia and New York University (1935–36). She was an accomplished pianist and intended to study at Julliard, but due to poor health, she studied writing instead. She married J. Reeves McCullers (1937), was divorced (1940), and remarried him in 1945. Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), drew upon her Southern background and explored themes of loss and isolation also seen in her later works. Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), was followed by the short novel The Ballad of the Sad Café (1943), and the novel, The Member of the Wedding (1946; stage adapta- tion 1950). She suffered several strokes in 1947, was operated on for breast cancer (1961), and died of a stroke in Nyack, N.Y.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
<i>Understanding Carson McCullers.</i> Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 1990.
Carson McCullers no doubt had a very different view and from the beginning of her writing career she emphasized southern white guilt and inscribed this very notion into southern exceptionalism.
Her unwillingness to accept John Henry and Berenice as her "we of me" is Carson McCullers at her most self-critical and reflective.
"From apparent influences as disparate as George Saunders, Saki, Stephen King, Carson McCullers and Joy Williams, she has fashioned a quirky, textured voice that is thoroughly her own: by turns lyrical and funny, fantastical and meditative.
Something like Carson McCullers without the malaise, or Spike Lee without the chatter.
IN CARSON MCCULLERS'S FIRST NOVEL The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) her adolescent girl protagonist, Mick Kelly, is left to deal with the aftermath of the accidental shooting of a three-year-old neighbourhood girl, Baby, by her beloved younger brother, Bubber.
More controversial is a related claim: that Persona can be illuminated by juxtaposing it with two texts Bergman may well not have known, and to which no links of any kind are made in his film: Stefan Zweig's Chess Novella (1942) and Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1943).
Carson McCullers wrote that 'the dead demand a double vision'.
Bolano relates these influences through a series of dream journeys, in which he meets such writers as Vallejo, Borges, Boethius, Baudelaire, Sir James Barrie, Manuel Puig, Stendhal, Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, Walt Whitman, Archibald MacLeish, Carson McCullers, Ana'is Nin, and Philip K.
The works collected in this volume include A Linguistic Look at Riddles, Triggers and Targets: a Linguistic Look at Humor, Adverbials, Direct Objects and the Style of Carson McCullers and Phonological Ingenuety in "Five Songs" by W.H.