With the publication of her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation.
With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters’ inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers’ finest work, and an enduring masterpiece.
At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small-town life.
When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music.
Brilliantly attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated–and, through Mick Kelly, to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.