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color has given way, in recent scholarship, to an acknowledgement

of her equal attention to international themes and affairs. Writing

in the turbulent era of the Great Depression and the following

period of international fascism that led to World War II, McCullers

was sensitive to political issues both at home and abroad.

Cosmopolitan imaginaries can be tracked in her fiction. For

example, in the short story “Correspondence,” a teenage girl pours

out her heart to a Brazilian pen pal who never replies. In “The

Aliens,” a story set in 1935, a Jewish refugee arrives in the South

after fleeing the increasing persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.



The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

(2001a), she creates a Greek


a deaf-mute named Antonapoulos who looks dumb and

coarse, but for some mysterious reason receives the unfailing

devotion and love of the central character, John Singer, a refined

and sophisticated gentleman who is a deaf-mute as well. Another

foreign presence in the nation’s borders is Anacleto, an intriguing

Filipino character who appears in

Reflections in a Golden Eye

(2001c). In

The Member of the Wedding

(2001b), a 12-year-old

tomboyish girl, Frankie Addams, dreams of joining the

globetrotting U.S. Army to fight the Germans and Japanese. These

imaginative capacities to visualize transnational spaces and

characters are important proofs of McCullers’s cosmopolitanism

and bespeak the inadequacy of southern regionalism as the

dominant model to interpret her fiction. We need to seriously

consider the geopolitical significance of McCullers’s characters and

arrive at a more nuanced and expansive

method of interpreting

how the supposedly remote region functions as a suggestive index

that unsettles the normative thinking so often used to theorize her


In fact, recent works on American regionalism have focused

on the much ignored (at least, in the majority of criticisms in the

(1990: 38).


These two short stories are included in

Collected Stories of Carson McCullers

(McCullers, 1987).