Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers - Novelists, Timeline and Family

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Carson McCullers Biography Stories 

Carson McCullers's Personal Details

Carson McCullers was a writer and novelist best known for her work ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 19, 1917
Died onSeptember 29, 1967
NationalityAmerican
FamousColumbia University, Juilliard School, New York University, Writers, Poets, Novelists, Short Story Writers, Novelists
City/StateGeorgia
SpousesReeves McCullers
SiblingsMargarita G. Smith
Universities
  • Columbia University,Juilliard School,New York University
  • Columbus High School
  • Juilliard School
  • Columbia University
  • New York University
Notable Alumnis
  • Columbia University
  • Juilliard School
  • New York University
Birth PlaceColumbus, Georgia, USA
GenderFemale
FatherLamar Smith
MotherMarguerite Waters Smith
Sun SignAquarius
Born inColumbus, Georgia, USA
Famous asAmerican novelist
Died at Age50

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Carson McCullers's photo

Who is Carson McCullers?

Carson McCullers, the author of the celebrated piece of fiction ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ was born as Lula Carson Smith. The author is notable for writing several novels, plays, and short stories which are known for their high literary standards. As a young girl, Lula wanted to become a musician and received piano lessons from the age of ten. She also had plans to enroll at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City. However a bout of rheumatic fever while she was a teenager forced her to rethink her career options. Her father bought her a typewriter and the youngster started writing stories to pass time during her recovery. She later attended creative writing classes and started writing seriously by the time she was in her late teens. Unfortunately, she was always plagued by health problems from an early age. Long periods of convalescence, however, proved to be the inspiration behind her writing—she began writing her first novel ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ while she was recovering from a respiratory illness. The novel which explores the story of a deaf man was a literary sensation and a best seller. The book was also adapted into a film of the same name later on.

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Childhood & Early Life

She was born as the daughter of Lamar Smith, a watchmaker and jeweler, and his wife Vera Marguerite Waters.

As a little girl, She aspired to be a musician and her parents arranged for her to receive piano classes form the age of ten. She attended Columbus High School.

She traveled to New York City where she planned to study piano at the Julliard School of Music in 1934. However, she returned home and fell ill with rheumatic fever. The illness left her unable to pursue a career as a professional musician and she was forced to consider other professions.

She studied creative writing at night classes at Columbia University under the Texas writer Dorothy Scarborough.

Career

She began writing seriously by her late teens. Her first published work was an autobiographical piece called ‘Wunderkind’ which was about a musical prodigy’s painful life experiences. The story first appeared in the December 1936 issue of ‘Story’ magazine.

For two years from 1935 till 1937, she divided her time between Columbus and New York in order to work on her studies and writing. She also worked at several odd jobs to support herself.

She published her debut novel ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ in 1940. The story revolved around a deaf man named John Singer and the various people he meets in a mill town. The novel was highly reviewed by critics and was also a huge commercial success.

The very next year, the novel ‘Reflections in a Golden Eye’ was released. The novel had first appeared in a serialized format in the October-November issues of the ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ in 1940. The book dealt with issues such as homosexuality, sadism and fetishism.

It took her five years to complete her next novel ‘The Member of the Wedding’ which was finally published in 1946. The plot revolved around the story of a 12 year old tomboy, Frankie Addams who feels disconnected from the world. The novel explores the psychology of the three main characters.

The theatrical adaptation of the novel ‘The Member of the Wedding’ opened on Broadway in 1950. The play was hugely popular and ran for 501 performances. This adaptation was a critical and well as commercial success.

One of her most famous works, ‘The Ballad of the Sad Caf�’, a collection of short stories was out in 1951. It included a novella of the same name which was about a strong headed woman named Amelia Evans. Love, isolation, loneliness and gender roles form the basis of this novel.

She always suffered from poor health and her health declined steadily during her later years affecting the quality of her literary output as well. Her second play, ‘The Square Root of Wonderful’ did not do well and closed after just 45 performances on the Broadway in 1957. Her final novel, ‘Clock Without Hands’ (1961) was also not much successful.

Major Works

Her debut novel, ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ based on the story of a deaf man is considered a literary sensation. It was one of her works in which she represented the voice of the rejected, forgotten and oppressed. The novel was ranked among the list of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th century.

Awards & Achievements

Her play ‘The Member of the Wedding’ won the 1950 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best American play of the season. It also won the Donaldson Award fro best play, and best first play by an author.

Personal Life & Legacy

She married an aspiring writer Reeves McCullers in 1937. The couple separated in 1940 and divorced in 1941. Carson and Reeves remarried in 1945.

She once attempted suicide when she was depressed. Some years later her husband convinced her to attempt suicide with him. But she fled while Reeves committed suicide.

She suffered from health problems throughout her life. She was partially paralyzed by the age of 31. She died of a brain hemorrhage in 1967.

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Carson McCullers biography timelines

  • // 19th Feb 1917
    She was born as the daughter of Lamar Smith, a watchmaker and jeweler, and his wife Vera Marguerite Waters.
  • // 1934
    She traveled to New York City where she planned to study piano at the Julliard School of Music in 1934. However, she returned home and fell ill with rheumatic fever. The illness left her unable to pursue a career as a professional musician and she was forced to consider other professions.
  • // 1935 To 1937
    For two years from 1935 till 1937, she divided her time between Columbus and New York in order to work on her studies and writing. She also worked at several odd jobs to support herself.
  • // 1936
    She began writing seriously by her late teens. Her first published work was an autobiographical piece called ‘Wunderkind’ which was about a musical prodigy’s painful life experiences. The story first appeared in the December 1936 issue of ‘Story’ magazine.
  • // 1937
    She married an aspiring writer Reeves McCullers in 1937. The couple separated in 1940 and divorced in 1941. Carson and Reeves remarried in 1945.
  • // 1940
    She published her debut novel ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ in 1940. The story revolved around a deaf man named John Singer and the various people he meets in a mill town. The novel was highly reviewed by critics and was also a huge commercial success.
  • // 1946
    It took her five years to complete her next novel ‘The Member of the Wedding’ which was finally published in 1946. The plot revolved around the story of a 12 year old tomboy, Frankie Addams who feels disconnected from the world. The novel explores the psychology of the three main characters.
  • // 1950
    The theatrical adaptation of the novel ‘The Member of the Wedding’ opened on Broadway in 1950. The play was hugely popular and ran for 501 performances. This adaptation was a critical and well as commercial success.
  • // 1950
    Her play ‘The Member of the Wedding’ won the 1950 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best American play of the season. It also won the Donaldson Award fro best play, and best first play by an author.
  • // 1951
    One of her most famous works, ‘The Ballad of the Sad Caf�’, a collection of short stories was out in 1951. It included a novella of the same name which was about a strong headed woman named Amelia Evans. Love, isolation, loneliness and gender roles form the basis of this novel.
  • // 29th Sep 1967
    She suffered from health problems throughout her life. She was partially paralyzed by the age of 31. She died of a brain hemorrhage in 1967.

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Carson McCullers's FAQ

  • What is Carson McCullers birthday?

    Carson McCullers was born at 1917-02-19

  • When was Carson McCullers died?

    Carson McCullers was died at 1967-09-29

  • Where was Carson McCullers died?

    Carson McCullers was died in Nyack

  • Which age was Carson McCullers died?

    Carson McCullers was died at age 50

  • Where is Carson McCullers's birth place?

    Carson McCullers was born in Columbus, Georgia, USA

  • What is Carson McCullers nationalities?

    Carson McCullers's nationalities is American

  • Who is Carson McCullers spouses?

    Carson McCullers's spouses is Reeves McCullers

  • Who is Carson McCullers siblings?

    Carson McCullers's siblings is Margarita G. Smith

  • What was Carson McCullers universities?

    Carson McCullers studied at Columbia University,Juilliard School,New York University, Columbus High School, Juilliard School, Columbia University, New York University

  • What was Carson McCullers notable alumnis?

    Carson McCullers's notable alumnis is Columbia University, Juilliard School, New York University

  • Who is Carson McCullers's father?

    Carson McCullers's father is Lamar Smith

  • Who is Carson McCullers's mother?

    Carson McCullers's mother is Marguerite Waters Smith

  • What is Carson McCullers's sun sign?

    Carson McCullers is Aquarius

  • How famous is Carson McCullers?

    Carson McCullers is famouse as American novelist