Friday, May 28, 2010

Museum Exhibit: Carson McCullers

About a month ago, I visited Carson McCullers' childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. In my post, I mentioned that I'd learned that Fayetteville, NC, had used McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter for its National Endowment for the Arts The Big Read selection for 2010. The Museum of the Cape Fear has a McCullers exhibit that I got to see just before it ends on May 30.
The exhibit, though small, paired nicely with what I learned in Columbus. It focused on McCullers' time in Fayetteville where she wrote much of her debut novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, from this second story front porch at 119 North Cool Spring Street in downtown Fayetteville. The home is one of the oldest in town.

As you can see, the house is still beautiful. Today it in home to an appraisal company but thankfully, it looks much as it did in the photo of it at the museum taken while McCullers lived there in 1938 and 1939. McCullers and her husband, Reeves McCullers, also lived at 109 Rowan Street in Fayetteville, which today is a US mail facility.

The museum reported that McCullers described the book that she finished in Fayetteville as, "a story of five isolated, lonely people in their search for expression and spiritual integration with something greater than themselves." The book was published in 1940 and became very popular.
Additionally, the museum highlighted some of McCullers' friendships with other famous people such as Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, Marilyn Monroe, John Huston and others. She once occupied a house in Brooklyn Heights, New York, with other writers, and it is described in a book I've just added to my Goodreads list called February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Brooklyn by Sherill Tippins.


  1. Hi, Betsy -- Glad you got to see the NC exhibit. I did not. I'm in New York right now, though, just fixin' to hop the train up to Nyack to visit McCullers sites there. Wish you were along. Regards, Cathy Fussell

  2. Cathy, your name was on the wall as a person who contributed to the exhibit, so I was hoping you'd see my blog post. The New York trip sounds like fun. Take care!