Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

by Carson McCullers (Author)

Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Reading Level: 9th − 12th Grade
The beloved classic that turned Carson McCullers into an overnight literary sensation and one of the Modern Library's top 20 novels of the 20th century."A remarkable book...From the opening page, brilliant in its establishment of mood, character, and suspense, the book takes hold of the reader."In a Georgia Mill town during the 1930s, an enigmatic John Singer, draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a doctor, a widowed café owner, and a young girl. Each yearns for escape from small town life, but the young girl, Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (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, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
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Review quotes

"When one puts [this book] down, it is with . . . a feeling of having been nourished by the truth." —May Sarton

"To me the most impressive aspect of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice of those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life." — Richard Wright —

Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, made her an overnight literary sensation.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Mariner Books
Publication date
April 20, 2004
BISAC categories
FIC019000 - Fiction | Literary
FIC044000 - Fiction | Women
FIC004000 - Fiction | Classics
Library of Congress categories
Southern states
Teenage girls
Psychological fiction
Suicide victims

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