Monday, 18 March 2013

McCullers, Carson "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"

McCullers, Carson "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" - 1940

I have had this book on my wishlist ever since I first heard the title. It seems entrancing. A book worth reading. "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". What is it hunting? And why? Those are the first thoughts one has when hearing that phrase.

When I started reading the book, I learned that the author was just 23 when she wrote this, her first book. When I finished reading the book, all I could think was how on earth someone that young can have such profound understanding of the world, of the human race. What a gift this must be but also probably quite a burden.

This story is far from happy, as we can imagine by the title, I guess. There is a lot of despair in the novel. But also a lot of hope. And it teaches us, that even with the racism prevalent at the time, people are the same all over the world, no matter what colour their skin, what religion they follow or what their social or financial status is.

A wonderful book that makes you think a lot about the world and whether it has changed in the last hundred years. I don't think it has.

From the back cover:

"Carson McCullers was all of twenty-three when she published her first novel, 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter'. She became an overnight literary sensation, and soon such authors as Tennessee Williams were calling her 'the greatest prose writer that the South [has] produced.' ...

'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter' tells an unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930s.

Richard Wright was astonished by McCullers's ability 'to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.' Hers is a humanity that touches all who come to her work, whether for the first time or, as so many do, time and time again.

 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter' is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, most enduring best."


  1. Marianne, you do find the most interesting books. Hope you are having a good week.

  2. Thank you, Carole,

    I found this one on the Oprah list, there are quite a few interesting ones on there. But mainly, I just see what other people read and what they publish in their blogs, like you, or what they talk about in our RL book club. We all learn from each other.

    Hope you are having a good week, too. It's snowing here again.

  3. Although thought-provoking and interesting, I found this book a bit too depressing. I went on to read The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers and found it a bit more likable, though still very sad. After those two books by McCullers I gave up on her for awhile. Needed something more uplifting.

  4. You are right, it is depressing but I found it very interesting nonetheless. I will take your suggestions into consideration because I do like her style and if you say they are not as sad, I'm sure they are worth reading. Thank you, Annette.