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.
Understanding the Short Fiction of Carson McCullers uses diverse critical techniques to identify how McCullers's short fiction engages with the modern world and contemporary audiences. While McCullers's longer work has received significant critical attention, her short fiction has not received the same treatment. This collection adds to analyses of McCullers's better-known stories as well as considers those that have received little or no critical attention. McCullers's writing maintains lasting appeal because it captures both the joy and sadness of humanity, especially the meaning we draw from connections with others and the pain of isolation when we find it difficult to cultivate these relationships in modern culture. While critical assessment of McCullers's work has more often focused on her concern with loneliness and belonging, this collection depicts an author who was deeply invested in the social and political state of the world. Her short fiction includes interrogations of class-based, racial, and ableist prejudice, disconcerting portrayals of the social and political anxiety surrounding the Second World War, satirical eviscerations of some of the most oppressive social norms of the mid-twentieth century, and bold suggestions that lesbian desire, queer relationships, and female autonomy have a valid place in American culture. Through her depictions of differently-abled, sexually nonconforming characters, as well as characters of various races and classes, her short fiction redefines notions of belonging in the modern social context. The chapters within this collection provide new scholarly avenues to McCullers and will compel readers to rethink their own responses to McCullers's shorter works. Book jacket.
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.
A Study Guide for Carson McCullers's "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Short Stories for Students for all of your research needs.
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 Café (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.
A Study Guide for Carson McCullers's "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
A Study Guide for Carson McCullers's "The Haunted Boy," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Short Stories for Students for all of your research needs.
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-fiction How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered - an icon and idol - alongside your own? Jenn Shapland's celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America's most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love. Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers's life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others' narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers's life?her history, her secrets, her legacy?reveal to Shapland about herself? In smart, illuminating prose, Shapland interweaves her own story with McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of our nation's greatest literary treasures, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.
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.
This four-volume reference work surveys American literature from the early 20th century to the present day, featuring a diverse range of American works and authors and an expansive selection of primary source materials. Bringing useful and engaging material into the classroom, this four-volume set covers more than a century of American literary history—from 1900 to the present. Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context profiles authors and their works and provides overviews of literary movements and genres through which readers will understand the historical, cultural, and political contexts that have shaped American writing. Twentieth-Century and Contemporary American Literature in Context provides wide coverage of authors, works, genres, and movements that are emblematic of the diversity of modern America. Not only are major literary movements represented, such as the Beats, but this work also highlights the emergence and development of modern Native American literature, African American literature, and other representative groups that showcase the diversity of American letters. A rich selection of primary documents and background material provides indispensable information for student research. Covers significant authors, as well as those neglected by history, and their works from major historical and cultural periods of the last century, including authors writing today Situates authors' works not only within their own canon but also with the historical and cultural context of the U.S. more broadly Positions primary documents after specific authors or works, allowing readers to read excerpts critically in light of the entries Examines literary movements, forms, and genres that also pay special attention to multi-ethnic and women writers
Mythologized as the era of the “good war” and the “Greatest Generation,” the 1940s are frequently understood as a more heroic, uncomplicated time in American history. Yet just below the surface, a sense of dread, alienation, and the haunting specter of radical evil permeated American art and literature. Writers returned home from World War II and gave form to their disorienting experiences of violence and cruelty. They probed the darkness that the war opened up and confronted bigotry, existential guilt, ecological concerns, and fear about the nature and survival of the human race. In Facing the Abyss, George Hutchinson offers readings of individual works and the larger intellectual and cultural scene to reveal the 1940s as a period of profound and influential accomplishment. Facing the Abyss examines the relation of aesthetics to politics, the idea of universalism, and the connections among authors across racial, ethnic, and gender divisions. Modernist and avant-garde styles were absorbed into popular culture as writers and artists turned away from social realism to emphasize the process of artistic creation. Hutchinson explores a range of important writers, from Saul Bellow and Mary McCarthy to Richard Wright and James Baldwin. African American and Jewish novelists critiqued racism and anti-Semitism, women writers pushed back on the misogyny unleashed during the war, and authors such as Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams reflected a new openness in the depiction of homosexuality. The decade also witnessed an awakening of American environmental and ecological consciousness. Hutchinson argues that despite the individualized experiences depicted in these works, a common belief in art’s ability to communicate the universal in particulars united the most important works of literature and art during the 1940s. Hutchinson’s capacious view of American literary and cultural history masterfully weaves together a wide range of creative and intellectual expression into a sweeping new narrative of this pivotal decade.
This reference includes alphabetically arranged biographical and critical entries for more than 120 American Realistic and Naturalistic novelists, including Henry Adams, Sherwood Anderson, Saul Bellow, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, and Jack London. Each entry includes basic biographical information and a narrative overview of the writer's educational background, professional career, and published works. These works are briefly discussed to show how they fit within the Realistic and Naturalistic traditions.
Celebrated worldwide for her masterly novels, Carson McCullers was equally accomplished, and equally moving, when writing in other forms. The play The Member of the Wedding (1950), adapted from her 1946 novel at the urging of her close friend Tennessee Williams is, like Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, a great American poem for the stage. At its center is tomboy Frankie Addams, a motherless adolescent neglected by her father and utterly bored with life in small-town Georgia until romantic longing is ignited by her older brother’s wedding. A hit on Broadway, running for more than five hundred performances, it won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award and soon inspired a film.
Each volume in this series provides an introduction tracing the subject author's critical reputation, trends in interpretation, developments in textual and biographical scholarship, and reprints of selected essays and reviews, beginning with the author's contemporaries and continuing through to current scholarship. Many volumes also feature new essays by leading scholars and critics, specially commissioned for the series.