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  • Published: 24 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781598535112
  • Imprint: Library of America
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 696

Carson McCullers

Stories, Plays & Other Writings (LOA #287)



Celebrated worldwide for her masterly novels, Carson McCullers was equally accomplished, and equally moving, when writing in shorter forms. This Library of America volume brings together for the first time her twenty extraordinary stories, along with plays, essays, memoirs, and poems. Here are the indelible tales “Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland” and “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.” as well as her previously uncollected story about the civil rights movement, “The March”; her award- winning Broadway play The Member of the Wedding and the unpublished teleplay The Sojourner; twenty-two essays; and the revealing unfinished memoir Illumination and Night Glare. This wide-ranging gathering of shorter works reveals new depths and dimensions of the writer whom V. S. Pritchett praised for her “courageous imagination—one that is bold enough to consider the terrible in human nature without loss of nerve, calm, dignity, or love.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

  • Published: 24 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781598535112
  • Imprint: Library of America
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 696

About the author

Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers was born at Columbus, Georgia, in 1917. She was always a delicate person and as a young adult she began to suffer from strokes, and by the age of thirty-one she was paralysed down her left side. For a while she could only use one finger to type, and for years before her death could not sit at a desk to work. In 1938 she married James Reeves McCullers, a corporal in the US army. The marriage was not a success and they divorced. They did, however, keep in touch and subsequently remarried, separating finally in 1953; he later committed suicide.
She was established as a writer by the time she reached her twenties but it was not until she published The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at the age of twenty-three, that she won widespread recognition. Her other works include Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), The Member of the Wedding (1946; winner of the 1950 New York Critics Award, also staged as a play in London), The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951), The Square Root of Wonderful (1958), a play, Clock Without Hands (1961), Sweet as aPickle, Clean as a Pig (1964) and The Mortgaged Heart (published posthumously in 1972). She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1942-3 and again in 1946, and received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1945; she was also a Fellow of the Academy. She lived in Nyack, New York, until her death in 1967.
Graham Greene wrote of her: 'Miss McCullers and perhaps Mr Faulkner are the only writers since the death of D. H. Lawrence with an original poetic sensibility. I prefer Miss McCullers to Mr Faulkner because she writes more clearly; I prefer her to D. H. Lawrence because she has no message.'

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Praise for Carson McCullers

"Of all the Southern writers, she is he most apt to endure. . . . Her genius for prose remains one of the few satisfying achievements of our second-rate culture." —Gore Vidal "A genius . . . She knows her own original, fearless, and compassionate mind. What she has, before anything else, is a courageous imagination-one that is bold enough to consider the terrible in human nature without loss of nerve, calm, dignity, or love." —V. S. Pritchett "The most impressive aspect of [her work] is the astonishing compassion that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life which enables Mrs. McCullers to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." —Richard Wright From the Boxed Set edition.

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