The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Book - 1993
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Random House, Inc.
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

When she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. This novel is the work of a supreme artist, Carson McCullers's enduring masterpiece. The heroine is the strange young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small Southern town, the cosmos universal and eternal. The characters are the damned, the voiceless, the rejected. Some fight their loneliness with violence and depravity, some with sex or drink, and some—like Mick—with a quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Baker & Taylor
A quiet, sensitive girl searches for beauty in a small, but damned Southern town

Blackwell North Amer
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in the spring of 1940, and was immediately a literary sensation. Carson McCullers was only twenty-three years old, had lived in a small southern town for most of her life, and this was her first novel. But she had read widely in Dostoevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Eugene O'Neill, and her knowledge and insight into her characters transcended her real experience. Mick Kelly, the adolescent at the center of this strange and brooding novel, is very much the girl McCullers had been in Georgia - passionately musical, and attracted to freaks and outcasts. Mick's spiritual kinship with John Singer, a deaf mute, and with other social misfits, provides a haunting look into the abyss encountered by human beings in their attempts at love. Years later, McCullers's friend Tennessee Williams wrote that she "owned the heart and the deep understanding of it, but in addition she had that 'tongue of angels' that gave her power to sing of it, to make of it an anthem."

Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1993
ISBN: 9780679424741
0679424741
Branch Call Number: F MCC
Characteristics: ix, 430 p. ; 19 cm

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Helenccl
Feb 13, 2017

'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' follows the life of deaf mute John Singer and the lost people who come to confide him. Poignant, thought provoking, and beautifully crafted, this is one of those perfect classics

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

About as perfect as they come. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has that blend of story, character, setting, lyricism, insight, pacing, and so forth and so on that makes a wonderful read. Throw all that under a title like The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and what more could you ask for?

m
melvins666
Dec 14, 2015

"It was boring" is a relentlessly lazy term used by some folks that have a short collection of brilliant literature. Yawn = go back an TRY a little.

b
briannehavens
Dec 10, 2015

Really boring and slow. It was depressing with no climax. Would not recommend.

Aka_Aka_Aka Apr 14, 2015

Born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia (in the year 1917), Carson McCullers was a moderately successful fiction writer throughout the 1940s & 50s.

In her life-time, McCullers wrote five novels in all, as well as a handful of short story compilations. Her most famous novel was, of course, "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" which was originally published in 1940.

With her stories always set in the location of the deep South, McCullers explored, in great depth, the spiritual isolation amongst the misfits and outcasts of society.

In 1946, McCullers (living in NYC at the time) befriended the up-and-coming fiction writer, Truman Capote. This close alliance between them soon soured when McCullers found good reason to accuse Capote of plagiarizing her work for his own literary gains.

McCullers experienced a very turbulent adult life, punctuated by a bad marriage, poor health, depression and alcoholism. In 1967, at the age of 50, Carson McCullers died from a severe brain hemorrhage.

Agent13 Jun 15, 2012

While unrelentingly somber and sad, this classic of literature is so full of ideas that it would take a longer essay just to list them. I'll just say that communication is so, so important for us to achieve even a minimum of understanding among all people. Ms. McCullers book is loaded with fully realized and vivid characters. That is not an easy thing create, in this reader's opinion. I am very happy that my recent book club assignment was this book.

b
bonjourhola85
Jun 03, 2012

While there were some interesting themes and I was excited in the first chapter, the book was overall very slow moving, had no real climax. I enjoy reading and always finish books I start but it sure was a struggle this time.

m
macierules
Jan 26, 2011

I'm finally finishing my reading assignment from 30 years ago. Glad I did. Carson McCullers was 23 when she wrote this book, unbelievable. I read somewhere that before she went to bed each night, she pointed her shoes in the direction of New York.

One of those stories where you'll never forget the characters - Mick Kelly, Mr. Singer are perfectly drawn. Lots of great themes.

c
Cabby
Nov 08, 2007

Interesting but I was surprised that it was an Oprah book as well as on the Random House and Time Magazine top 100 books of all times.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Maybe when people longed for a thing that bad the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.

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