Carson McCullers: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (3826 words)


Carson McCullers initially published The Ballad of the Sad Café in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in August 1943. It was collected in 1951 as a novella, alongside several other short stories.

Though a unique work in its own right, Ballad can be linked back to McCullers’s 1940 debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which introduced several concerns that she would pursue in a more concentrated manner in future works. For instance, whereas her 1946 novel The Member of the Wedding takes as its core the tomboy subplot found in Heart, Ballad prominentlytakes up Heart’s concerns with the white working class. Ballad is also notable, among other things, for its allegorical …

Citation: Seymour, Nicole. "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2012 [, accessed 25 June 2021.]

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