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Mary Sames Tucker papers, 1936-1967 0.2 Linear Feet — 62 Items

Piano teacher, of Lexington, Va. Personal correspondence from and about the author, Carson (Smith) McCullers, piano student of Mrs. Tucker in Columbus, Ga., and lifelong friend. Topics include McCullers' personal life, marital problems, and poor health. Mrs. Tucker was the wife of Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston Tucker.

The Mary Sames Tucker Papers are dated from 1936 to 1967, and are divided into two series, the Correspondence Series and the Printed Materials and Clippings Series. The bulk of the first series consists of letters written by Carson McCullers to her former piano teacher, Mary Tucker. They reveal the closeness of the relationship between the two women (Tucker is often referred to as a 'foster mother'). Other letters are addressed to Carson's husband Reeves; her mother, Marguerite Smith; and her physician and longtime friend, Mary E. Mercer. Together, the correspondence documents the writer's relationships, marital problems, and especially the suffering caused by her chronic poor health. The Printed Materials and Clippings Series contains several clippings of obituaries that appeared in newspapers after the death of McCullers and a booklet published by the Empire Theatre.

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Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was an author, born in Muscogee County, Ga., as Lula Carson Smith. Her husband was Reeves McCullers. Her works included The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) and The Member of the Wedding (1946). Collection consists of correspondence between McCullers and Tennessee Williams, Dame Edith Sitwell, and cousins, Jordan Massee, Jr., and Paul Bigelow; writings by McCullers; poems by Dame Edith Sitwell; and clippings; together with correspondence from McCullers' mother, Marguerite (Waters) Smith, to Massee and Bigelow, and other papers. Topics include the relationship between McCullers and Williams and their lifestyles, health, moods, travels, residences, and attitudes toward well-known contemporary writers, and McCullers' relationship with her husband, Reeves.

The Carson McCullers Papers span the years 1941-1995 and are divided into six series: Correspondence, Writings, Jordan Massee Notebooks, Photographs, Printed Materials, and Clippings. The Correspondence Series includes numerous letters from Carson McCullers to Jordan Massee, Paul Bigelow, Edith Sitwell, and other friends and family members. Most significant in the series is the correspondence between McCullers and Tennessee Williams, in which both writers touch on a variety of topics such as the writing process, health, marital problems, and their travels. Carson's relationship with her husband, Reeves McCullers, is a frequent topic.

The Writings Series, the largest in the collection, comprises typewritten manuscripts of several long as well as short published works of McCullers, including The Member of the Wedding (which has handwritten revisions) and The Clock Without Hands. Notable short writings include verses that McCullers wrote for children, an essay on literary criticism, and two short works that are inscribed and signed by the author. At the end of the series there are also two poems by Edith Sitwell.

The Jordan Massee Notebooks Series contains a catalogue that Massee compiled about the McCullers papers he owned, as well as a notebook with notes about McCullers and extracts from his journals.

The Photographs Series consists of five photographs, most of which are of Carson McCullers. Particularly noteworthy is a photograph taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson, where McCullers appears with the editor of Harper's Bazaar, George Davis.

The Printed Materials Series and the Clippings Series both contain reviews of writings by McCullers and materials related to their dramatization. The latter series includes two short essays by Tennessee Williams as well as numerous obituaries published after McCullers's death.