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THE NOVEL 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. BRING Your annotated novel, any notes you may have taken, and two discussion questions written on separate slips of paper--plus whatever else you need to glide through an hour or two of far-ranging, engaging conversation-- open mind, adventurous spirit, sense of humor, etc.. DISCUSSION PARAMETERS I'll kick things off with a brief overview of the novel, emphasizing its key themes. Then your discussion questions will be folded up, thrown into a heap and selected at random for insightful rumination by the group. :-) FACEBOOK PAGE For ongoing discussion on novels we're reading and literature in general, check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pdxwomenreaders COURTESY & NO SHOWS If you register for a meetup and later discover that you are unable to attend, please unregister AT LEAST 24 HOURS in advance of the meetup. Membership in this group will be discontinued after two no-shows. Thanks for understanding!