Saturday, March 14, 2009

ISO of Carson McCullers' D.C. Connection

It's been a challenge finding a D.C. connection for author Carson McCullers. Unlike Zora Neale Hurston (2007), McCullers didn't attend college and meet a BLF (best literary friend) named Langston Hughes here; unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald (2008), her parents weren't married in D.C.; neither did she have a daughter take up residence here (Scotty).

But through the Big Read, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has made its own D.C. connection through E. Ethelbert Miller, one of the featured commentators on the Big Read Audio Guide for the book narrated by former NEA chair Dana Gioia. Miller is joined by Edward Albee, Alan Arkin, P.J. O'Rourke, Mary Louise Parker, Gore Vidal and others .
E. Ethelbert Miller describes The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as a "must read" on the CD.

E. Ethelbert Miller has published his second memoir, The 5th Inning, through a new publishing venture by the Big Read - D.C.'s community partner Busboys and Poets. The cover is designed by Andy Shallal, owner of the Busboys and Poets restaurants and now its companion press (via PM Press). The 5th Inning the first book for Busboys and Poets.

Miller, a literary activist and board chair for the Institute for Policy Studies, has authored several collections of poems. His first memoir, Fathering Words, was selected for the DC Public Library's Center for the Book "DC We Read" program. He's often heard on NPR radio. Miller is also a founder of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (co-presenter for the Big Read - D.C.)

We learn that what happens, even in these relationships with people that we love, we have difficulty communicating. We wind up being "deaf" to each other.
E. Ethelbert Miller, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Audio Guide

Carson McCullers never got to 2nd base in her 5th inning. She died at age 50.

A launch party for The 5th Inning and the Busboys and Poets press is scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 7 PM at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW). The event will feature readings by Miller and other special guests as well as a book signing.

Copies of the Big Read Audio Guide to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter will be available at Big Read - D.C. events including the upcoming SpeakeasyDC event at Busboys and Poets April 23 (7:30 PM); and the official kick-off at Gallaudet University, April 25 (11 AM). For more information, call 202-387-8391 or email

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