Books That Inspire 2009

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers composed her debut novel at the age of twenty-three, and critics immediately heralded it as a moving, expertly crafted tale about loners in a small Southern town. McCullers invests the main characters --a deaf mute, an African American doctor, a dissipated café owner, and an adolescent girl--with breathtaking grace and passion as they attempt to make sense of a world that cannot tolerate their idiosyncrasies. Though all of the characters desperately strive for acceptance and understanding, it is thirteen-year-old Mick Kelly whose journey is most memorable. McCullers' ''lyrical descriptions of her characters'' simple yet elusive desires to find someone to love and something to live for remind us all of what we all want, in the end.

Julia C. Ehrhardt
Associate Professor
Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College