Celebrate Women's Day: Carson McCullers

So thrilled that Library of America (whose efforts deserve our support) has done the right thing and published the collected writings of several women authors-- overdue, perhaps, but welcome nevertheless.

So, in the spirit of celebrating women, consider reading Caron McCullers.  No question that McCuller remains an original, and among the Southern writers, the one who gets me everytime.

Maybe it was her early, failure in music, but there's a certain "something" -- what a critic has called a "universe of yearning" that is unmistakeably hers.  Her characters seem to come from the paintings of Edward Hopper:  McCuller is their champion.  She is the writer of loneliness, silences and the unrealized.  A writer who faces flaws, even cruelty, in people, and doesn't turn away, and never leaves the reader behind. And, at a time when most white writers didn't seem to know what to do (or what to say) about "Negro" characters, McCullers plunged right in.

You can start by reading (courtesy of LOA) one of her first short stories-- about a prodigy who realizes that she isn't destined for greatness in music  The irony (for the reader) is know that Carson McCullers would become, well, Carson McCullers.


And while you're at it, consider the wonderful boxed set.  I'll be buying it for myself, as a treat, as my personal celebration of Women's Day.

Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...