The Member of the Wedding

The Member of the Wedding

Paperback Penguin Modern Classics

By (author) Carson McCullers, Introduction by Ali Smith

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 14mm | 179g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141182822
  • ISBN 13: 9780141182827
  • Edition: 8000
  • Edition statement: New edition.
  • Sales rank: 34,669

Product description

With delicacy of perception and memory, humour and pathos, Carson McCullers spreads before us the three phases of a weekend crisis in the life of a motherless twelve-year-old girl. Within the span of a few hours, the irresistible, hoydenish Frankie passionately plays out her fantasies at her elder brother's wedding. Through a perilous skylight we look into the mind of a child torn between her yearning to belong and the urge to run away.

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Author information

Carson McCullers was born in 1917. She is the critically acclaimed author of several popular novels in the 1940s and '50s, including The Member of the Wedding (1946). Her novels frequently depicted life in small towns of the southeastern United States and were marked by themes of loneliness and spiritual isolation. McCullers suffered from ill health most of her adult life, including a series of strokes that began when she was in her 20s; she died at the age of 50. The Member of the Wedding was dramatized for the stage in the 1950s and filmed in 1952 and 1997. Other films based on her books are Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968, starring Alan Arkin) and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991).

Editorial reviews

A portrait of a mood, a phase and the passing of a summer in the life of a twelve year old girl, Frankie, which has a heavy quality of the strange, the stagnant, but is otherwise virtually motionless. The author pictures Frankie, an awkward adolescent at a time of indirection, isolation, as she glooms around the kitchen and dark Berenice, thinks of her brother's wedding in glamorous terms, and decides to go - uninvited - with them, so as to get away from home. After days of inaction, introspection, the wedding takes place - and Frankie, violent and tearful, is taken back home. An odd, unhappy little story, with the bizarre, neurotic atmosphere Carson McCullers achieves. (Kirkus Reviews)