Mary V. Dearborn & Carson McCullers: A Life
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The Georgia Center for the Book

Mary V. Dearborn & Carson McCullers: A Life

  • Doors: 6:00 pm
  • Start Time: 6:30 pm
  • End Time: 7:30 pm
  • Age Restriction:  All Ages

About the Event

Join the Georgia Center for the Book, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University, and the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries for a very special evening with biographer Mary V. Dearborn as she discusses her latest triumph Carson McCullers: A Life in Columbus, Georgia, birthplace of Carson McCullers. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested, not required.


The event will be held in the Auditorium on the main floor of the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, on Tuesday April 23 at 6:30pm. Follow the signs when you arrive at the library.


About the Author:


MARY V. DEARBORN holds a doctorate in English and comparative literature from Columbia University, where she was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. She is the author of seven books—among them, Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim and Ernest Hemingway. Dearborn has been a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in Buckland, Massachusetts.


About the Book:


She was born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia. Her dream was to become a concert pianist, though she’d been writing since she was sixteen and the influence of music was evident throughout her work. As a child, she said she’d been “born a man.” At twenty, she married Reeves McCullers, a fellow southerner, ex-soldier, and aspiring writer (“He was the best-looking man I had ever seen”). They had a fraught, tumultuous marriage lasting twelve years and ending with his suicide in 1953. Reeves was devoted to her and to her writing, and he envied her talent; she yearned for attention, mostly from women who admired her but rebuffed her sexually. Her first novel—The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter—was published in 1940, when she was twenty-three, and overnight, Carson McCullers became the most widely talked about writer of the time.


While McCullers’s literary stature continues to endure, her private life has remained enigmatic and largely unexamined. Now, with unprecedented access to the cache of materials that has surfaced in the past decade, Mary Dearborn gives us the first full picture of this brilliant, complex artist who was decades ahead of her time, a writer who understood—and captured—the heart and longing of the outcast.

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