The Lonely Hunter is widely accepted as the standard biography of Carson McCullers. Author of such landmarks of modern American fiction as Reflections in a Golden Eye and The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers was the enfant terrible of the literary world of the 1940s and 1950s. Gifted but tormented, vulnerable but exploitative, McCullers led a life that had all the elements--and more--of a tragic novel. From McCullers's birth in Columbus, Georgia, in 1917 to her death in upstate New York in 1967, The Lonely Hunter thoroughly covers every significant event in, and aspect of, the writer's life: her rise as a young literary sensation; her emotional, artistic, and sexual eccentricities and entanglements; her debilitating illnesses; her travels in America and Europe; and the provenance of her works from their earliest drafts through their book, stage, and film versions. To research her subject, Virginia Spencer Carr visited all of the important places in McCullers's life, read virtually everything written by or about her, and interviewed hundreds of McCullers's relatives, friends, and enemies. The result is an enduring, distinguished portrait of a brilliant, but deeply troubled, writer.
Carson McCullers was deemed the "find of the decade" when she appeared on the literary scene at the age of twenty-three and is best remembered for her celebrated novels "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" and "The Member of the Wedding." This book provides a balanced introductory study of her major fiction and shows her as more than a lesbian novelist.
In 1920, an unknown journalist named Katherine Anne Porter first sojourned in Mexico. When she left her "familiar country" for the last time in 1931, she was the celebrated author of Flowering Judas and Other Stories and had accumulated a wealth of experiences and impressions that would inspire numerous short stories, essays, and reviews, as well as the opening section of her only novel, Ship of Fools. In this perceptive study of Porter's Mexican experiences, Thomas Walsh traces the important connections between those events and her literary works. Separating fact from the fictions that Porter constantly created about her life, he follows the active role that she played in Mexican political and intellectual life—even to the discovery of a plot to overthrow the Mexican government, which eventually figured in Flowering Judas. Most important, Walsh discerns how the great swings between depression and elation that characterized Porter's emotional life influenced her alternating visions of Mexico. In such works as "Xochimilco," Porter saw Mexico as an earthly Eden where hopes for a better society could be realized, but in other stories, including "The Fiesta of Guadalupe," she depicts Mexico as a place of hopeless oppression for the native peoples. Mexico, Porter once said, gave her back her Texas past. Given the unhappiness of that past, her feelings toward Mexico would always be ambivalent, but her Mexican experiences influenced all her subsequent works to some degree, even those pieces not specifically Mexican in setting. Walsh's study, then, is an essential key for anyone seeking greater understanding of the life or works of Katherine Anne Porter.
My stories are fragments of a larger plan, Katherine Anne Porter once wrote. And on another occasion she praised a critic who perceived that all her work, from the very beginning, was part of an "unbroken progression, all related." In Truth and Vision in Katherine Anne Porter's Fiction, Darlene Unrue examines the encompassing themes that underlie Porter's shorter fiction and that combined to create the haunting events of her complex metaphorical novel, Ship of Fools. Porter believed that men and women are compelled toward discovering the truth about their existence, but that the nature of our world makes those truths difficult to discern. In her writing, Unrue finds, Porter explored not only this basic human need to confront the truth, but also the bewilderment and suffering that are so often the results of failing to fulfill that need. Often in Porter's fiction the movement toward truth is obstructed by the hollow beliefs and illusions that abound in the world--by the seductions of ideology and dogmatic religion, by romantic love or the vision of a golden past. Clinging to such illusions, using them to lend a false coherence to their lives, Porter's characters are led away from the hard realization that truth requires accepting the existence of the unknowable at the center of life, and that what is knowable lies within themselves. Drawing on essays, reviews, letters, and notes, as well as on the intricate fabric of the fiction, this study traces Porter's pursuit of the truth through the creation of a body of fiction in which, from fragments of life, she could assemble an honest vision of the world.
The life of Carson McCullers (1917-1967) rivals the plot of any of her stories. She had a painful small-town childhood in the South and shot from obscurity to international fame at the age of 23 with the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Despite a mysterious and debilitating disease that haunted her from early adulthood, she went on the write works such as The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye and The Ballad of Sad Cafe, adapted for Broadway and the cinema. She was a controversial figure, whose immense emotional needs sometimes overshadowed her great charm and deep intelligence, while her search for happiness led her to marry the same man twice. She surrounded herself with a large cast of the brightest celebrities of her time: Katherine Anne Porter, Truman Capote, John Huston, Marlon Brando, W.H. Auden and Tennesse Williams, among others, Above all she was a life force, a person who had a relentless need to write and who did so despite great physical pain, up until her untimely death at the age of 50. Josyane Savigneau's portrait provides a look at, arguably, one of the most enigmatic literary figures of the 20th century.
Presents the life of the American writer, describing his childhood precocity, his relationships with other writers and composers, his marriage to writer Jane Auer, his exile in Morocco, his drug addiction, and his political beliefs.
Seven American Women Writers of the Twentieth Century was first published in 1977. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Women writers have been traditionally excluded from literary canons, not until recently have scholars begun to rediscover or discover neglected women writers and their works. This reference includes alphabetically arranged entries on 58 American women authors who wrote between 1900 and 1945, a period that embraces two major artistic movements, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and includes a biography, a discussion of major works and themes, a review of the author's critical reception, and extensive primary and secondary bibliographies. The volume reflects the diversity of American culture through its coverage of African American, Native American, Mexican American, and Chinese American women writers.
A state-of-the-art literary research guide, this book will aid anyone researching American authors. It identifies and describes the best and most current Internet and print sources for nearly 300 American writers whose works are included in the most frequently used literary anthologies.