Carson McCullers: A Centenary Collection - Edited by Prof. Carlos Dews

Carson McCullers in the World: A Centenary Conference, held at John Cabot University in July 2017, has led to the publication of a collection of essays on the American novelist. Carson McCullers: A Centenary Collection was edited by JCU’s English Literature and Creative Writing Professor Carlos Dews, who is an authority on the life and work of the author.

Carson McCullers: A Centenary Collection

Born in Columbus, Georgia, Carson McCullers (1917-1967) is an important author of American literature who rose to prominence in the 1940s. The main themes of her novels, short stories, poems, essays, and screenplays are love, loneliness, and how society treats outsiders. One of her most famous works is The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940),  a novel about a deaf man and the people and the people who turn to him for solace in a 1930s mill town in the American state of Georgia.

Carson McCullers: A Centenary Collection was published by Negative Capability Press, a regional U.S. publisher based in Mobile, Alabama. This is how the publisher describes the book: “A collection of essays celebrating the birth centenary of Carson McCullers by an international collaboration of scholars and writers. The essays bring to light multiple themes across McCullers’s works and seek to bring readers along on a journey through some of McCullers’s most well-loved pieces as well as her extraordinary life.”

Professor Carlos Dews, editor of Carson McCullers: A Centenary Collection 

Professor Carlos Dews

The scholars who participated in the 2017 conference contributed to the volume of essays. The contributors come from around the world, including the United States, Italy, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and China. The essays in the volume range from autobiographical considerations of the influence of McCullers’s work on contributors’ lives, to traditional literary scholarship on McCullers’s life and work.

Professor Dews also wrote the collection’s introduction, which summarizes scholarship on McCullers from her first publication until 2017. JCU English Literature Professors Shannon Russell and Alessandra Grego also have essays included in the volume.

Professor Dews has been researching Carson McCullers for almost thirty years. He edited McCullers’s unfinished autobiography Illumination and Night Glare, and numerous other works. Founding Director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, Professor Dews was also the Founding President of the Carson McCullers Society, an organization of scholars dedicated to research on McCullers’s life and work.

Listen to a podcast of McCullers Center director Nick Norwood interviewing Prof. Dews on the issue of race in McCullers’s work.