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Carson McCullers was born in 1917. She is the critically acclaimed author of several popular novels in the 1940s and '50s, including The Member of the Wedding (1946). Her novels frequently depicted life in small towns of the southeastern United States and were marked by themes of loneliness and spiritual isolation. McCullers suffered from ill health most of her adult life, including a series of strokes that began when she was in her 20s; she died at the age of 50. The Member of the Wedding was dramatized for the stage in the 1950s and filmed in 1952 and 1997. Other films based on her books are Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968, starring Alan Arkin) and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991).
The greatest prose writer that the South produced ... She has examined the heart of man with an understanding that no other writer can hope to surpass -- Tennessee Williams A remarkable book ... [McCullers] writes with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming * The New York Times * Of all the Southern writers, she is the most apt to endure -- Gore Vidal Again [McCullers] shows a sort of subterranean and ageless instinct for probing the hidden in men's hearts and minds * New York Herald-Tribune *