While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson and a woman named Annemarie--letters are that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language--but does not see Carson as history has portrayed her.
And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of Carson's life: She wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at Carson's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives Carson's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and Carson, she sees the way Carson's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results articulate something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.
In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.
The novel that became an award-winning play and a major motion picture and that has charmed generations of readers, Carson McCullers's classic The Member of the Wedding is now available in small- format trade paperback for the first time. Here is the story of the inimitable twelve-year-old Frankie, who is utterly, hopelessly bored with life until she hears about her older brother's wedding. Bolstered by lively conversations with her house servant, Berenice, and her six-year-old male cousin -- not to mention her own unbridled imagination -- Frankie takes on an overly active role in the wedding, hoping even to go, uninvited, on the honeymoon, so deep is her desire to be the member of something larger, more accepting than herself. "A marvelous study of the agony of adolescence" (Detroit Free Press), The Member of the Wedding showcases Carson McCullers at her most sensitive, astute, and lasting best.
Six stories including "Wunderkind," "A Domestic Dilemma," and "The Sojourner" accompany The Ballad of the Sad Café, a novella about shattered dreams in a small Southern town. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
The contributors to this volume use diverse critical techniques to identify how Carson McCullers' writing engages with and critiques modern social structures and how her work resonates with a twenty-first century audience. The collection includes chapters about McCullers' fiction, autobiographical writing, and dramatic works, and is groundbreaking because it includes the first detailed scholarly examination of new archival material donated to Columbus State University after the 2013 death of Dr. Mary Mercer, McCullers' psychiatrist and friend, including transcripts of the psychiatric sessions that took place between McCullers and Mercer in 1958. Further, the collection covers the scope of McCullers' canon of work, such as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), The Member of the Wedding (1946), and Ballad of the Sad Caf (1943), through lenses that are of growing interest in contemporary literary studies, including comparative transatlantic readings, queer theory, disability studies, and critical animal theory, among others.
When The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in 1940, Carson McCullers was instantly recognized as one of the most promising writers of her generation. The novels that followed established her as a master of Southern Gothic. This Library of America volume collects McCullers's complete novels for the first time in a single-volume edition that reveals the power and breadth of her haunting vision."McCullers's gift," writes Joyce Carol Oates, "was to evoke, through an accumulation of images and musically repeated phrases, the singularity of experience, not to pass judgment on it." McCullers effortlessly conveyed the raw anguish of her characters and the weird beauty of their perceptions. Set in small Georgia towns that are at once precisely observed and mythically resonant, McCullers's novels explore the strange, sometimes grotesque inner lives of characters who are often marginal and misunderstood. Above all, McCullers possessed an unmatched ability to capture the bewilderment and fragile wonder of adolescence. In The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), one of the most extraordinary debuts in modern American literature, an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a doctor, and a widowed owner of a small-town caf . The disfiguring violence of desire is explored with shocking intensity in two shorter works, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad Caf (1943). The Member of the Wedding (1946), thought by many to be McCullers's masterpiece, hauntingly depicts a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding. In 13-year-old Frankie Addams, confused, easily wounded, yet determined to survive, McCullers created her most indelible protagonist. Clock Without Hands (1960), her final novel, was completed against great odds in the midst of tremendous physical suffering. Set against the background of court-ordered school integration, it contains some of McCullers's most forceful social criticism. 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.
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.
Set in Georgia on the eve of court-ordered integration, Clock Without Hands contains McCullers's most poignant statement on race, class, and justice. A small-town druggist dying of leukemia calls himself and his community to account in this tale of change and changelessness, of death and the death-in-life that is hate. It is a tale, as McCullers herself wrote, of "response and responsibility--of man toward his own livingness."
Carson McCullers--novelist, dramatist, poet--was at the peak of her powers as a writer of short fiction. Here are nineteen stories that explore her signature themes: wounded adolescence, loneliness in marriage, and the tragicomedy of life in the South. Here too are "The Member of the Wedding" and "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," novellas that Tennessee Williams judged to be "assuredly among the masterpieces of our language." (A Mariner Reissue)
celebrated author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Contains:
CARSON McCULLERS: Complete Novels (Library of America #128)
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Member of the Wedding / The Ballad of the Sad Caf / Clock Without Hands CARSON McCULLERS: Stories, Plays & Other Writings (LOA #287)
Complete Stories / The Member of the Wedding (Play) / The Square Root of
Wonderful / Essays, Poems, Memoirs 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.
Looking back over her life from a precocious childhood in Georgia to her painful decline from a series of crippling strokes, McCullers offers poignant and unabashed remembrances of her early writing success, her family attachments, a troubled marriage to a failed writer, and friendships with literary and film luminaries (Gypsy Rose Lee, Richard Wright, Isak Dinesen, John Huston, Marilyn Monroe), and the intense relationships of the important women in her life.