The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

From the library book description:

When she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. This novel is the work of a supreme artist, Carson McCullers's enduring masterpiece. The heroine is the strange young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small Southern town, the cosmos universal and eternal. The characters are the damned, the voiceless, the rejected. Some fight their loneliness with violence and depravity, Some with sex or drink, and some -- like Mick -- with a quiet, intensely personal search for beauty

 

From Amazon:

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, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. 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 (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully 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, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.

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  • Kevin C. D.

    If anybody wants edit capabilities on the spreadsheet (Jon, Meghan, David, Tood?) for comments or removals or additions (or anything use you find useful), please just private message me with your google enabled email address (such as a gmail address or whatever). Feel free to use this however you like, I just wanted to use this for a springboard for ideas.

    February 17, 2013

    • Meghan

      Thanks Kevin! I'll shoot you my gmail address as some of these we have read for this book club so I'd like to make some notes. Some we read awhile ago so we could read them again but some of those are excellent but long.

      February 18, 2013

    • Jon R. M.

      Thanks for all your work on this. This'll come in handy in deciding what to read in the future.

      February 21, 2013

  • Kevin C. D.

    Re: Our post meeting discussion, I gathered the NTY Bestsellers, for[masked], the Good Reads Book Club recos and the Amazon Book Club recos. Gathered the pages for each of them. Made a Google Docs Spreadsheet

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgUvyH36oOiBdEtTeHBNUG5HQWFteXJfQVM1VDY4bXc&usp=sharing

    I've bolded the books that appear in more than one lists (or I did a quick attempt to).

    The authors that seem to appear the most are: David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Jodi Picoult, Lee Child. I don't think I've read any of them, interestingly. On the list, I've really enjoyed books by Dan Brown, Dean R. Koontz, Lisa Gardner, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Neal Stephenson (some great, some long winded), Stephen King, Stieg Larsson.

    Almost all of the NTY Bestseller books are probably too long for us for a two week cycle.

    February 17, 2013

    • David S.

      Kevin! Web

      February 18, 2013

    • David S.

      Kevin! What fun. Please provide the link.

      February 18, 2013

  • David S.

    Well-written, the book was a downer for me. I still can not believe a 23-year old wrote the book about life and conditions in pre-World War II America. The group discussion was great.

    February 17, 2013

    • Kevin C. D.

      If you want a downer, read Johnny Got His Gun. I enjoy re-reading it every few years, in sort of a masochistic way. Simiarly, I enjoy Sinclair's The Jungle. Maybe we should read that for Book Club. It's short, depressing, and of the right time period. :P

      February 17, 2013

  • Stephanie

    On vacation for a while, then not able to get the book in time. :-( Hopefully I can catch you all at the next one, though.

    February 11, 2013

  • samorrow j.

    do you normaly read the book before and then talk about it

    January 28, 2013

    • Meghan

      Yes, please see the comment below. Thanks.

      January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi..
    I haven't been to any of these events yet. Can you tell me if this is mostly a read out loud type thing or something else. It sounds interesting. Thanks,
    Aurora aka Ory

    January 24, 2013

    • Meghan

      No, it's not read out loud. You should have read the book before the meeting and then we discuss it at the meeting. You don't have to finish the whole thing to attend but there may be spoilers if you haven't so that's up to you if it will bother you.

      January 24, 2013

  • Meghan

    Just as an FYI, you only need to RSVP if you plan on attending or if you initially RSVP'd yes but have to change it to a no. Thanks.

    January 23, 2013

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