'The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter' is Published

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is the debut 1940 novel by American author Carson McCullers.

Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia. It created a literary sensation on publication, enjoying a meteoric rise to the top of the bestseller lists in 1940 and was the first in a string of works by McCullers to give voice to the rejected, forgotten, mistreated and oppressed. The novel was chosen as a selection for Oprah's Book Club in 2004.

Out of Singer's stunned face and his silence, each of the four constructs an image of absolute understanding, a godlike sounding board for prayerlike confessions. The fact that Singer himself is coolly puzzled by them, is himself even more piteously dependent than they, escapes them. The fact that no one of them can understand the other they scarcely realize. But when they lose John Singer, three of them lose the mainspring of their precarious spirits. Only the restaurant owner remains relatively intact.

The book is such a study in the relationships of human Christs and semi-Christs to a suffering world as Dostoevski made into the most annihilating literature of his century. As a candidate for high honors, however, Mrs. McCullers flunks out flat on a crucial matter. As a writer of words, she is never distinguished, never in one glint verbally original.