The McCullers home, South Broadway, South Nyack, N.Y. /gunther photo

June 14, 2021

By Arthur H. Gunther III



In a coincidence, if there is such, recently I walked past the late writer Carson McCullers’ Broadway house in South Nyack, N.Y., went home, and on TV was the film of her 1940 first novel, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” Now I know there is no such thing as an accident of talent. Nor of heartbreak and suffering that bring us explanation and beg our understanding. Nor of soulful givers to humanity.

     The Southern-based novel, set in real time, sweats with what the Civil War did not end and which the nation must still face or perish, in every corner of America.

     Carson McCullers walked Broadway in the village described in her sentence: “I was always homesick for a place I had never seen.” She wrote two last novels and the short-story collection “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” there. Her passing in 1967 at 50, after strokes and other affliction, did not quiet a voice the vowels and consonants of which today would have us look at ourselves as the nation sits at precipice, democracy pushed to the edge.