The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers
Few writers have expressed loneliness, the need for human understanding and the search for love with such power and poetic sensibility as the American writer Carson McCullers, and The Ballad of the Sad Café collects her best-loved novella together with six short stories: Wunderkind, The Jockey, Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland, The Sojourner, A Domestic Dilemma and A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud.
Miss Amelia Evans, tall, strong and nobody's fool, runs a small-town store. Except for a disastrous marriage that lasted just ten days, she has always lived alone. Then Cousin Lymon appears from nowhere, a strutting hunchback who steals Miss Amelia's heart. Together they transform the store into a lively, popular café where the locals come to drink and gossip. But when her rejected and dangerous ex-husband Marvin Macy returns, the result is a bizarre love triangle that brings with it violence, hatred and betrayal. Among other fine works, the collection also includes 'Wunderkind', McCullers's first published story written when she was only seventeen, about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist.
"The greatest prose writer that the South produced ... She has examined the heart of man with an understanding that no other writer can hope to surpass." - Tennessee Williams
"Of all the Southern writers, she is the most apt to endure." - Gore Vidal
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 23 March 2001