LITERATURE

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Tin House. Feb. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781947793286. $22.95. LIT
COPY ISBN
Mixing memoir, criticism, and biography, Pushcart Prize winner Shapland (creative writing, Inst. of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM) intertwines deep research and her own quest for love into a comprehensive examination of the life and work of American novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers (1917–67). As an intern at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, Shapland discovered McCullers’s personal letters and was later invited to stay at the writer’s home, thus began her journey toward understanding an author she’d long admired on a more intimate level. Shapland relates how parsing McCullers’s work (e.g., The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter) has allowed her to articulate her own identity and explores how queer love stories are shaped and told. Along the way, Shapland defines what is means to her to be a queer woman and the truths she wishes to tell about her own life, drawing on examples from her own work.
VERDICT A fine narrative of how the best writers express the deepest secrets of the heart.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month