On this day in 1940, one of my favorite authors, Carson McCullers (from Columbus, Georgia) published her first novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.
The Heart is often cited as one of the great masterworks of the Southern Gothic genre for its exploration of spiritually isolated outcasts in the American South. McCullers' primary message, however, is a universal one. As expressed by Tennessee Williams, "Carson's major theme is the huge importance and nearly insoluble problems of human love."
The misfits who populate McCullers' novels (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe) are so compellingly real that I often think about them as if they are actual people I know personally today, rather than fictional characters I became acquainted with over 30 years ago.
If you haven't had the pleasure of reading McCullers, I recommend her wholeheartedly.