Carson McCullers, American Author and Playwright (1917 – 1967)
Carson McCullers was an author/playwright from Columbus, Georgia. Her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, was published when she was only 23 which made her a literary sensation. Reflections in a Golden Eye, her next book, was adapted into a film directed by John Houston, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.
Ms. McCullers spent the last 23 years of her life in Nyack, NY. She wrote The Member of the Wedding in 1946 which she adapted into a play that ran on Broadway with Ether Waters and Julie Harris. Edward Albee wrote the screenplay for Ms. McCullers's novella, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, which also ran on Broadway and was adapted into a major film starring Vanessa Redgrave.
Ms. McCullers suffered from rheumatic heart desease contracted when she was a girl, which resulted in a series of strokes when she was in her early 30's.
Her body of work is generally catagorized as Southern Gothic, much of which deals with themes of loneliness and outsiders. Her understanding and ability to write about emotional, social and racial issues in the South, on a deep level at a young age, are still marveled at.
McCullers was bisexual in an era when there was little acceptance of non-traditional women. Her efforts to develop relationships with other women were largely unsuccessful.
Other American writers and playwritghts who admired her and would visit her at her home in Nyack, included: Tennesee Williams, Edward Albee, Horton Foote, and Truman Capote.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, was made into a film and was released in 1968, a year after Carson McCullers passed away.