This book is simply outstanding. A friend recommended it to me yesterday when we were in Barnes and Noble and I bought it, despite it being in the Oprah Club. All I can say is WOW. What extraordinary depth and feeling and empathy and stirred passions. I mean, when I read a book like this, despite it's sad premise, it restores my faith in my own ability to feel things. It confirms to me that when I don't connect with 90% of the movies, books and people that I see/ read/ meet, it's because we, as people, do not have the ability to inspire, on a wide scale. If inspiration were more prevalent, perhaps it would be less inspiring, but you still miss it, on a day-to-day basis.
I'd never even heard of Carson McCullers, who died in 1967 at the age of 50. The astounding thing is she wrote this when she was twenty-three! You must read this book, if you get a chance. It's just wonderful and sad and poignant and brimming with tender energy. I've included some of the critic's quotes and , for once, they're not exaggerating.
"Like all writers of original genius, Miss McCullers convinces us that we have missed something which was plainly to be seen in the real world...she is a master of peculiar perception and an incomparable storyteller..a writer of the highest class."
"The most impressive aspect of [her work] is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, handle Negro characters with as much ease and humanity as those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life which enables Miss McCullers to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace all humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness."
"Her genius for prose remains remains one of the few satisfying achievement of our second-rate culture."