Carson McCullers was born Lula Carson Smith in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917. Most famous for her novels The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Member of the Wedding, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and Clock Without Hands, McCullers was also a playwright and a short story writer.
Her small but significant body of work includes five novels, two plays, twenty short stories, over two dozen nonfiction pieces, a book of children's verse, a small number of poems, and an unfinished autobiography.
McCullers' life was blighted by a series of cerebral strokes caused by misdiagnosed and untreated childhood case of rheumatic fever. The first stroke occurred when she was only 24 years old, and within several years she was completely paralyzed on her left side. McCullers suffered a final stroke in August, 1967 and died at age 50 on September 29, 1967.