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Library of America Carson McCullers Edition

Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers: Complete Novels (LOA #128) by Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers: Stories, Plays & Other Writings (LOA #287) by Carson McCullers / Carlos L. Dews, editor

Library of America Carson McCullers Edition : Titles in Order

Book 2
A landmark gathering of McCullers’ shorter works, including all her published stories, plays, essays, poems, and an unfinished autobiography

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story about the civil rights movement, “The March”; her award- winning Broadway play The Member of the Wedding and the unpublished teleplay The Sojourner; twenty-two essays; and the revealing unfinished memoir Illumination and Night Glare.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.
Book 1
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 café. 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 Café (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.

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