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Monzo, B. (2011). The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 1(2):252-254.

(2011). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 1(2):252-254

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers, Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Review by:
Bob Monzo

This is an expanded and updated version of the review published in the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists Newsletter Summer 2007 [Editor].

Deaf from infancy and orphaned in early life, John Singer was raised in an institution for the deaf and was taught to speak there. He is the character at the hub of this novel that was first published in 1940 (McCullers, 1940). At the age of twenty-two, he travels from Chicago to a Southern mining town and meets Antonapoulos, a childlike, Greek deaf mute. They form a close, companionable bond, and from the day that they share a flat Singer never communicates with his mouth again.

There are four other central characters. Biff Brannon, who runs the local New York café, is kind and compassionate and an astute, keen observer. By his own admission he loves ‘freaks’. Mick Kelly is a twelve-year-old tomboy with a love of music, about to enter adolescence. Jake Blount is a drunken drifter with an inner rage at people's ignorance and their unwillingness to be converted to his anti-capitalist version of the truth. Dr Copeland is a lonely, isolated black physician, estranged from his wife and from most of his family. Sick with consumption, he drives himself to care for the ill blacks of the town.

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