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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by  Carson McCullers - First Edition - 1940 - from Burnside Rare Books, ABAA (SKU: 140942177)

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

by McCullers, Carson

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About This Item

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1940. First Edition. First edition. (First printing with dated title page.) [iv], 356 pp. Bound in publisher's buff buckram cloth, with titles stamped in brown. Near Fine with slight lean to spine, edges a little scuffed, in an About Very Good dust jacket with sunned spine panel, wear at head, small wear spot and a few stains to back panel, unclipped ($2.50). A classic of Southern fiction.


Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is the author’s first in her string of works that lift the voices of the outsiders. The debut novel tells the story of a deaf-mute man named John Singer, who lives in an unnamed mill town in Georgia in the late 1930s. Left alone after his close friend and roommate is sent away, Singer moves into a boarding house and soon becomes the confidant of four of the town’s mistfits. His new acquaintances include Mick Kelly, a spirited young girl from a poor family; Jake Blount, an alcoholic social reformer; Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland, an idealistic black physician; and Biff Brannon, the childless owner of the local café that brought the group together. These five voices share a common cry of isolation, the novel’s principal theme. Thus, some understand the characters experiencing this shared isolation to be grotesque, a Southern Gothic literary term for elements — often exaggerated — in dissension of social and cultural formations. However, others argue that the work is far too rooted in realism to fit the aforementioned bill. Having quickly risen to the top of the bestseller lists in 1940, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was a literary sensation. Modern Library ranked the novel seventeenth on its list of the “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It was also included in TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923 to 2005). A film adaptation was made in 1968, starring Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke, and Cicely Tyson. In March 2005, a stage adaptation premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and began touring shortly thereafter, commissioned and produced by the Acting Company of New York City. And after being selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2004, Houghton Mifflin, McCullers's publisher throughout her life, rushed out 700,000 copies of a new paperback edition. As a result, the 64-year-old novel was the No. 1 bestseller for a brief time in May of that year.

Read More: Identifying first editions of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter


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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
McCullers, Carson
Book condition
Quantity available
First Edition
Houghton Mifflin Company
Place of Publication
Date Published
Southern fiction, psychological fiction, 1st
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About the Seller

Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2010
Portland, Oregon
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About Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Burnside Rare Books specializes in American and British literature, and rare nonfiction. We are located in downtown Portland, Oregon and open by appointment.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [More]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the... [More]
Damage done to a book cover or dust jacket caused by exposure to direct sunlight. Very strong fluorescent light can cause slight... [More]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [More]
A plain weave fabric normally made from cotton or linen which is stiffened with starch or other chemicals to cover the book... [More]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a... [More]

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