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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter/Reflections in a Golden Eye/The Ballad of the Sad Cafe/The Member of the Wedding/The Clock Without Hands (Library of America) [Hardcover]

By Carson McCullers (Author) & Carlos L. Dews (Editor)
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Item description for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter/Reflections in a Golden Eye/The Ballad of the Sad Cafe/The Member of the Wedding/The Clock Without Hands (Library of America) by Carson McCullers & Carlos L. Dews...

A single volume collection of the celebrated writer's novels includes the complete texts of five novels.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   827
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2001
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  1931082030  
ISBN13  9781931082037  

Availability  0 units.

More About Carson McCullers & Carlos L. Dews

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Carson McCullers was born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917. At the age of nineteen she published her first short story, "Wunderkind," in Story magazine, and soon was contributing fiction to The NewYorker, Harper's Bazaar, and Mademoiselle. She won early critical and commercialsuccess with her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), published whenshe was only twenty-three. Over the next quarter-century she published four morenovels and a collection of short stories, and found Broadway success with her playThe Member of the Wedding (produced in 1950). After a series of increasinglydebilitating strokes, she died in Nyack, N.Y., in 1967, at the age of fifty.
Carlos L. Dews is the editor of the two-volume Library of America Carson McCullers editionas well aIllumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers(University of Wisconsin Press, 1999). He is chair of the Department of English Language andLiterature at John Cabot University, Rome, and the Director of JCU's Institute for CreativeWriting and Literary Translation.

From the Boxed Set edition."

Carson McCullers lived in Columbus, in the state of Georgia. Carson McCullers was born in 1917 and died in 1967.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( M ) > McCullers, Carson
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States

Reviews - What do customers think about The Heart is a Lonely Hunter/Reflections in a Golden Eye/The Ballad of the Sad Cafe/The Member of the Wedding/The Clock Without Hands (Library of America)?

delightful  Aug 21, 2008
I could read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter over and over - such an awesome story. As a McCullers fan, I enjoyed reading her other works.
a must-read now  Aug 15, 2008
The American Jane Austen?  Dec 24, 2003
I have read many novels by many writers, both American and foreign, but it's been a good long while since I've read something so penetrating and perceptive as Carson McCuller's first and last novels. The characters in the books, their lives and personalities, are so well thought-out and delineated that you have to wonder how a woman of 23 could put something like this together. Anyway, below is a synopsis of each story in this volume.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is the longest of Carson McCullers' novels, and the first. She wrote it in the late `30s, and published it in 1940, when she was 23. It's an incredible first novel, and amazingly prescient and wise for someone of her age, era, and upbringing. The story revolves around a deaf mute, John Singer, who works engraving silverware in a small city in the South somewhere. He has only one friend in the world, another deaf mute who works for his cousin, making candy. As the story begins the candymaker (named Antanopolous) is committed to an asylum, and Singer moves from the home they shared, and slowly begins to acquire a circle of other friends. Principle in this circle are four people: Mick, the daughter of his landlords at the rooming house he lives in; Biff, who runs the diner where he takes his meals; Blount, another denizen of the diner, who wishes to unionize the local mill-workers; and Dr.Copeland, a black man who rages against the injustice of white society towards him and his race. The heart of the story is a character study of these five people, with alternating chapters following the one and then the other. Each is intelligent, in his or her own way, and each has special insights into the world around them. How these characters interact, and the relationships between them and the rest of the world, make the heart of the story and most of the book.

Reflections in a Golden Eye is a shorter story, one of McCullers' novels that is really more of a novella. The plot revolves around a love triangle that develops between two officers on an Army base, and the wife of one of them. There's also a strange, solitary, enigmatic private who tends the horses on the base, and he interacts with the other characters. Frankly, I didn't enjoy this story as much as The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. The characters weren't anywhere near as believable, and their motivations weren't as transparent or understandable. The ending was also somewhat predictable.

The Ballad of the Sad Café is the shortest of McCullers' novels or novellas, weighing in at 60 pages. It's the story of a strange, unpredictable relationship between the standoffish businesswoman who dominates the culture of a small town, and a dwarf hunchback who shows up one day claiming to be her long-lost nephew. How the two of them interact in the story is strange, to say the least, and not wholly explained in the story. This creates an enigmatic atmosphere, and as the story progresses and it becomes obvious we're not going to receive an explanation of things, you find yourself re-reading passages looking for clues as to motivations. I enjoyed this story much more than Reflections in a Golden Eye, perhaps almost as much as The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

The Member of the Wedding is perhaps McCullers' most strange work. The heart of the book is built around the fantastic intentions and beliefs of a twelve-year-old girl. In the first portion of the book, she's known as Frankie. Later, when she gets the idea she's going to leave with her older brother on his honeymoon, she changes her name to F. Jasmine, and the book follows that convention. Once it develops that she can't go with the brother and his new bride (you knew this was going to happen) she becomes Frances. There isn't much of a plot other than this girl fantasizing about all of the things she's going to be or do, and looking down her nose at all the common people who surround her, who she thinks are beneath her.

Clock Without Hands is the best of McCullers' books other than The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I now wonder if the length of the books had something to do with whether I liked them or not. She seems to have been able, in the longer books, to build her characters more, and have more plot twists. Clock Without Hands is about a dying pharmacist in a small Georgia town, and the events surrounding his death, but it really turns out to be more about one of his acquaintances, a senile old judge who imagines himself a great leader of the opposition to the desegregation movement. The episodes of the Civil Rights movement, as McCullers recreates them, become at times farcical and silly, and the resistance to the movement altogether silly and irrational.

Library of America volumes are wonderful to hold and read, and this is no exception. The type is clear, the book handy to hold or slip into a pocket. Given McCullers' stature as a writer, I think I'm going to value this book for a good long while.

Magnificent McCullers  Mar 11, 2002
Carson McCullers, one of America's greatest Southern writers, was often misunderstood, as many people were put off by or unwilling to deal with her (at the time) controversial subject matter. MCCullers used the grotesque as exaggerated symbols of everyday experience. The loneliness and isolation of her gothic-like characters were merely extreme examples of feelings we all have, though magnified and intensified to the nth degree.

Tennessee Williams, in his introduction to MCCullers' "Reflections in a Golden Eye", posed the question (in a mock dialogue) most people asked about writers of the 'gothic' school such as Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Katherine Anne Porter and Eudora Welty: "Why do they write about such dreadful things?" Williams replies, " In my opinion it is most simply definable as a sense, an intuition of an underlying dreadfulness in modern society.. Why have they got to use..symbols of the grotesque and the violent? Because a book is short and a man's life is long... The awfulness has to be compressed."

McCullers, unlike any writer I have ever read, pierces the heart of themes such as love, isolation, and loneliness with her lucid, poetic prose. Tennessee Williams, in Virginia Spencer Carr's biography of McCullers summed up McCullers' writing as follows: "I have used the word 'heart', but it is not an adequate word to describe the core of Carson McCullers' genius....I believe, in fact I know, that there are many, many with heart who lack the need or gift to express it. And therefore Carson McCullers is what I would call a necessary writer: 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."
The unique lady of the "South"  Oct 20, 2001
Until very recently, it was quite difficult to find a nice hardback copy of Mc Culler's novels. Each one of them is absolutely priceless and unforgettable; believe me when I tell you that "The Ballad of the Sad Café" is one of those stories that long remain on your mind. Mc Culler's novels, clearly influenced by Faulkner, surpass the master himself in magnetism, , power of storytelling and above all, characterization. If you add to all this a dose of gothic dark strangely ambivalent sense of humour, the result is certainly a writer utterly impossible to classify, novels that you really enjoy reading and characters that you are very unlikely to forget. Besides I am fully in love with the Library of America hardback editions and Mc Cullers certainly deserves to be included in this collection.
Later, if you want to give yourself a treat, go and buy her autobiography, although unfinished, a memorable book.

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