Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
Carson McCullers

£8.99

Few writers have expressed loneliness, the need for human understanding and the search for love with such power and poetic sensibility as the American writer Carson McCullers, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe collects her best-loved novella together with six short stories. Miss Amelia Evans, tall, strong and nobody’s fool, runs a small-town store. Except for a disastrous marriage that lasted just ten days, she has always lived alone. Then Cousin Lymon appears from nowhere, a strutting hunchback who steals Miss Amelia’s heart. Together they transform the store into a lively, popular cafe where the locals come to drink and gossip. But when her rejected and dangerous ex-husband Marvin Macy returns, the result is a bizarre love triangle that brings with it violence, hatred and betrayal. Among other fine works, the collection also includes ‘Wunderkind’, McCullers’s first published story written when she was only seventeen, about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist.

Paperback, 160pp
Penguin Books, 2001 (1951)
ISBN 9780141183695

Biography

CARSON McCULLERS (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely HunterThe Member of the WeddingReflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.