BORN: February 19, 1917, Columbus, Georgia
DIED: September 29, 1967, Nyack, New York
IDENTIFICATION: Mid-twentieth-century southern writer noted for her portraits of spiritually isolated individuals in novels, short stories, and plays.
Carson McCullers published her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), at the age of twenty-three and was acclaimed a literary wunderkind. She was a contemporary of Tennessee Williams, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and other southern writers whose simple often grotesque characters explore the fundamental sadness of the human condition. Her most highly regarded fiction, published in the 1940s, deals with loneliness and alienation in ways that transcend her mostly southern settings.