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Carson McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Lula Carson Smith was born on February 19 1917 She was the oldest of three children Carson found herself to be very good at playing the piano at a young age She shocked her mother at age six by sitting down and playing with both hands a song she heard for the first time that afternoon in a movie theater From then until late high school she practiced fervently and hoped to carry her work onto a musical education at the New York Julliard School However at seventeen she was told that she had pneumonia and would have many complications Later she found out she had rheumatic fever She was too weak to play piano during her long recuperation so she took to writing plays in the style of a favorite author Eugene ONeill In late high school Carson faced the crushing blow of losing her mentor and piano teacher Mary Tucker She was so devastated by this loss that she put aside her interest in piano permanently She hoped to develop her new found love of writing She made plans to leave for New York directly after graduation She was barely seventeen when she arrived in Manhattan and registered for classes at Columbia University Repeated attacks of anemia pleurisy and other respiratory ailments related to her rheumatic fever interrupted her formal studies and frequently drove her south to recuperate At this time was when she met Reeves McCullers a Fort Bennington soldier from Alabama who was also an aspiring writer They were married on September 20 1937 By 1940 she was already fading out of the romantic honeymoon phase of her marriage and left by herself to return to New York After arriving she separated from Reeves and took up residence in a boardinghouse arrangement of artists at a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights NY She remained here for four years During her separation from
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