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Carson McCullers: A Lifeby Josyane Savigneau
Synopses & Reviews
"Writing is my occupation," Carson McCullers often said. "I must do it. I have done it for so long." The beloved author of such classics as THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, and REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, McCullers began writing her first best-selling novel at the age of twenty. It was the start of a lifelong love affair with stories and language — and of the creation of a body of work that continues to draw new generations of readers.
In CARSON MCCULLERS: A LIFE, Josyane Savigneau gives us at last a truly popular biography of one of America's greatest women novelists. Carson McCullers's life story rivals the plot of any of her novels. A brilliant, sensitive artist who had a painful small-town childhood in the South and early international success, she was crippled by a mysterious disease in early adulthood. A woman who composed the most romantic of letters, she struggled to find lasting happiness with her husband, Reeves, whom she married twice. Carson wrote often of the loneliness of the human condiiton, and yet she surrounded herself with a constellation of witty, always entertaining celebrities: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Katherine Anne Porter, Richard Wright, John Huston, and Edward Albee, among others.
The first biographer to have the full cooperation of the McCullers esate, Josyane Savigneau has uncovered the private Carson McCullers, a woman who never really grew up yet was always seductive, a woman whose candor and immense emotional needs sometimes overshadowed her great charm, generosity, loyalty, humor, and deep intelligence. Above all, Carson was a life force, a person who needed to write and who did so despite great physical pain, up until the very end. Published to rave reviews in France, this passionate biography is one that "must [be] read . . . to measure the full extent of McCullers's torment and her determination to overcome her suffering" (L'EXPRESS).
Book News Annotation:
This biography traces the life and career of Carson McCullers from the publication of her first prize-winning novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in 1940, to her untimely death in 1967. Savigneau, an editor at Le Monde, draws upon previously unpublished manuscripts and letters, an interview with McCullers' psychotherapist, and a wide range of critical and biographical writings in French to describe McCullers' private and public life. Originally published in French in 1995. Translated by Joan E. Howard.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
'Josyane Savigneau is editor of the book-review supplement to LE MONDE, is the acclaimed author of MARGUERITE YOURCENAR: INVENTING A LIFE, which Edmund white called \"surely the best biography to be written in French in several decades.\" She lives in France.'
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments ix Translatorand#8217;s Note xi Introduction 1 Mary 7 1. Columbus, Georgia, 1917 11 2. I Was Eighteen Years Old, and This Was My First Love 26 3. The Birth of Carson McCullers 50 4. A War Wife 99 5. Frankie and#147;the Europeanand#8221; 149 6. Five Hundred Days on Broadway 179 7. and#147;Tomorrow Iand#8217;m Going Westand#8221; 215 8. Something from Tennessee 242 9. The Ultimate Rebellion 266 10. and#147;The Dour Desire to Endureand#8221; 300 Epilogue: and#147;She Was Ageless, Carson Wasand#8221; 326 Notes 333 Works About Carson McCullers 356 Index 359
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