Novel by Carson Mccullers, published in 1940.
In a small Georgia town, an intelligent and sympathetic deaf-mute, John Singer, is lonely and saddened when his only friend, another mute, Spiros Antonapoulos, is committed to an institution. He takes a room in the Kelly family home and eats his meals at Biff Brannon 's café, but lives only for visits to Antonapoulos, the one person with whom he can communicate. Biff, a warm-hearted, magnanimous, impotent man, and Jake Blount, an intense, alcoholic wanderer, obsessed by a desire to convert others to Marxism, both feel that Singer somehow has a superhuman understanding that brings calm. They visit Singer in his room to tell him their innermost feelings, as do Mick Kelly, a sensitive adolescent tomboy with an intense spiritual hunger, and Dr. Benedict Copeland, an intellectual black man passionately devoted to the improvement of his people's lot. Singer becomes an important and mysterious figure in the town, as “everyone described the mute as he wished him to be,” although he himself feels isolated. Each of his admirers meets tragedy, and Singer himself, upon discovering that Antonapoulos has died, commits suicide. Confused and deeply saddened, each of Singer's four admirers feels the loss of peace and understanding he seemed to offer.
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Carson McCullers (1917—1967) American writer