Book Review: “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers

January 4, 2010

Yearning, melancholy, loving and sad: the more McCullers I read, the more I realize her genius for her gentle understanding of the lonely, the freakish and the isolated.

McCullers understands the panicky void that gapes around those who are alone, who cannot express the complications of their minds. Each character here, floating alone through life in a miserable southern mill town, each one shares two things in common.

One: their inner life is impossible to express to those around them. Two: a messiah-like reverence for deaf-mute John Singer, who is for all of them an apotheosis, a summation of everything they need him to be.

There is a lot of aching and yearning here. A profound understanding of humanity. A gripping story. Tragedies, a moment caught like a fragile insect of history. Beautiful.

5.0 stars

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