Carson McCullers: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

(2778 words)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers’s first novel, published in 1940 when the author was 22 years old. Gore Vidal notes that it made McCullers “an American legend from the beginning”, though she remains on the fringe of the canon today – beloved by many, but overshadowed by contemporaries such as William Faulkner. Like McCullers’s other novels, Heart centers on a diverse group of individuals struggling to survive in a small Southern town. Her most expansive work, it can be viewed as a treasury of characterizations and themes that McCullers would mine in future writings.

Heart features five protagonists. Most central is John Singer, a white deaf-mute whose object of affection, …

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Seymour, Nicole. "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 December 2011
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Literature of the American South