February 19, 2013

Remembering Carson McCullers

Today I'm remembering one of my very favorite authors Carson McCullers, who was born on this date 96 years ago in Columbus, Georgia. She's someone whose life must have had an element of deep, deep sadness about it for her to have written the way she did. She counted as friends the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and W.H. Auden.

Where some authors put their characters through the ringer for the sake of the story, I always get the feeling she was her characters' biggest advocate...cheering them on, even in the face of heartache and despair.

Her book "The Member of the Wedding" deals with feelings of belonging in such a delicate way and each time I read it, new things are revealed that I somehow missed the last time. If you haven't read any of her books, start with this one. You won't be disappointed.

I am drawn to anyone who has a way with words and McCullers certainly had that. I'm not sure that I completely agree with the following quote of hers, but it definitely makes me think about things in a new light.

“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”

Happy Birthday Carson McCullers! You were one of a kind. 

Do you have a favorite southern author? There are too many good ones for me to pick a favorite, but Carson McCullers is way up on my list!