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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.

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Contains letters to and from family members and friends of Carson McCullers, most notably Tennessee Williams. Other prominent correspondents in the series include McCullers's cousins, Jordan Massee, Jr. and Paul Bigelow; Edith Sitwell, and Kathleen Batteen. There are also several letters from Carson's mother, Marguerite Smith, as well as Edward Albee, Bessie Brewer, Marielle Bancou, Julie Harris, Mary Mercer, Glenway Wescott, Robert Whitehead, and Donald Windham.

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The largest component of the series is the typewritten manuscript of The Member of the Wedding, with the author's hand-written corrections. There are numerous variants for certain portions of the novel and material not used in the published version. The series also contains a copy of the manuscript of The Clock without Hands, which was sent at the request of McCullers to Jordan Massee by Robert Lantz of Robin Productions. Other material includes Jordan Massee's notes about The Member of the Wedding, as well as published and unpublished short pieces written by McCullers. Among these are an essay by McCullers entitled "Russian Realists and Southern Writers"; her contemplation on the writing process; a collection of verses for children originally bound in a notebook, Sweet as a Pickle and Clean as a Pig; handwritten lyrics for a song from The Ballad of the Sad Cafe; and finally, typescripts of "The Dual Angel" and "A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud," inscribed and signed by the author. At the end of the series, there are also two poems by Edith Sitwell, accompanied by Jordan Massee's notes.

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Box 2
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Contains two notebooks compiled in 1974 by Jordan Massee, a cousin and close friend of Carson McCullers, as well as a brief recapitulation that was added three years later. The first notebook is a catalog of the Carson McCullers collection Massee owned; the second notebook consists of excerpts from Massee's journals, 1949-1965, and his household account book for 1956. This volume also contains an introduction by Massee written in 1974, a list of Carson's visits to his apartment in New York in 1957, notes concerning the funeral arrangements for Carson, and his recollections of a conversation with Truman Capote about Carson in July 1965.

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Clippings from newspapers, journals, and playbills in this series provide insights into the representation of Carson McCullers by the media. There are short clippings about the author's life, documents regarding the reception and dramatization of her works, as well as brief essays of literary criticism, including two articles written by Tennessee Williams.