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Carson McCullers entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
Excerpts
Works By
Carson McCullers's four novels and one novella, published between 1940 and 1961, compose a startling picture of the American South, from which she came: a society in which people's behaviour is in part wholly predictable, constrained by buried history and inherited codes of conduct, and in part opaque, springing from irrational passion, prejudice, and fixation. Though her output was severely limited by ill-health, it also included short stories, poems, essays, drama, and an unfinished autobiography.
Milestones
19 February 1917 CMC was born as Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia, the eldest of three children. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1936 CMC's earliest story to reach print, "Wunderkind", appeared in Story, a magazine edited by Whit Burnett, with whom she had been studying at Columbia. Bibliographic Citation link.
4 June 1940 CMC published her first and best-known novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Bibliographic Citation link.
1966 CMC began (dictating, since she was now bedridden) an autobiography which she called "Illumination and Night Glare". She left it unfinished. Bibliographic Citation link.
29 September 1967 CMC died in hospital at Nyack, New York, after forty-seven days in a coma caused by a massive brain haemorrhage. She was fifty. Bibliographic Citation link.
6 July 1999 Illumination and Night Glare: the Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers, which she dictated over the last months of her life but never finished, was finally published more than thirty years after her death. Bibliographic Citation link.
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