The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Of Those Who Labor And Of Those Who Love

Washington, DC

Book cover courtesy of Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin, New York.

Set in a small Georgia mill town during the Great Depression, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tells the story of four principal characters. In addition to the broad scope of the novel, one of Carson McCullers's literary feats is how she authentically portrays an extremely diverse group of personalities, including a deaf man named John Singer and a black doctor named Dr. Copeland. The book is even more impressive considering McCullers was just 23 years old when she wrote it. Here?s musician Blake Hazard of the group The Submarines and poet E. Ethelbert Miller on Dr. Copeland and diversity in the South. [The musical excerpt at the end of the clip is "Sundown" by blues legend Son House].

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/DocCopelandHunter.mp3]

[transcript]

After you read the book, check out the 1968 film adaptation, which earned Alan Arkin an Oscar for his role as John Singer. Arkin is featured on The Big Read audio guide alongside actress Mary-Louise Parker, writer and critic Gore Vidal, and musician Jim White, among others. You can hear the entire audio guide at The Big Read website.

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