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This Day in Georgia History

February 19, 1917

Carson McCullers Born

Author Carson Smith McCullers was born in Columbus, Georgia. After graduating from Columbus High School in 1933, she moved to New York City, where she attended Columbia University in 1934, followed by two years at New York University. In 1937, Smith married Reeves McCullers, from whom she eventually separated, re-married, and finally divorced. The next year, they moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she wrote her most famous work, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. In 1943, Harper’s published what many consider to be McCuller’s best work – the short story The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Her second novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye, was not well received by critics. Her third novel, The Member of the Wedding, was not only well received but also caught the eye of young Tennessee Williams, who urged her to write a play based on the book. McCullers suffered from various illnesses most of her adult life, finally succumbing to a massive stroke in Nyack, New York in 1967.