Thursday, June 28, 2012

Carson McCullers

I'm attempting to read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Were it not for my mother, I might never have discovered McCullers. Mom was intrigued by McCullers and introduced me to her writing when I was a young teen. My reading log doesn't include it, but many years ago I read Member of the Wedding and later Ballad of the Sad Cafe.

Carson McCullers was born Lula Carson Smith in 1917 in Columbus, Georgia. At the age of 13 she dropped 'Lula' and became Carson. Initially, Carson planned to be a concert pianist and even attended Juilliard, but soon pursued writing.

Carson had a tumultuous marriage to Reeves McCullers, suffered years of illness and strokes, and even attempted suicide. She died from the effects of a stroke and brain hemorrhage at age 50 in 1967.

I'm not much of a book reviewer; my mind is not excellent at analyzing literary works. What intrigues me is the writer and her process; her place in life and ability to overcome personal struggles and write a literary sensation at the age of 23. Tennessee Williams called McCullers "the greatest prose writer that the South produced."

What makes the mind of such a woman tick? Why have so many incredible writers come from the South? How can one so young write with such depth, power, emotion, and darkness? I will read her work. And whether I finish it with more questions than answers, I'm sure to be intrigued by Carson McCullers.


LPool said...

I read "Heart is the Lonely Hunter" not too long ago. I must say that I did not enjoy it as much as I thought that I would. I felt that there was so much that was left "Hanging" or not finished or something. I was left with more questions than answers. Hopefully you will get more out of it that I did.

Barb said...

Thanks for the comment, Lyn. It's not easy to get into ... we'll see!