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New biography to be released by Knopf February 27, 2024

Reviews for Carson McCullers: A Life

Carefully researched and smartly rendered ... In this extraordinary biography, Dearborn brings Carson McCullers to life, revealing the debilitating physical ailments and near-constant psychic torment she had to conquer to produce four works of fiction imbued with some of the most emotionally sensitive poetic prose ever produced in American letters — a testament to why McCullers will live on as a unique and enduring artist.


--Paul Alexander, The Washington Post

Dearborn...has accepted the challenge of giving us a fuller, deeper view of this most prodigiously gifted and destructive character ... McCullers's life story is rife with drama, or perhaps one should say melodrama, and Ms. Dearborn relates it all with real narrative skill; I found the book hard to put down. But her task could not have been easy.


--Brooke Allen, The Wall Street Journal

The time is ripe...for a more clear-eyed appraisal ... Mary V. Dearborn delivers. Dearborn, the author of six prior biographies...approaches her subject with admiration...and also with a healthy skepticism.


--Maggie Doherty, The New Yorker

A landmark biography.


--Donna Seaman, Booklist

Absorbing ... Dearborn offers a candid and complex portrait of the author's lifelong love and pursuit of women, especially older, more worldly women, documenting many of her relationships for the first time ... Dearborn weaves careful critical readings of McCullers' writings with detailed descriptions of the author's life, producing an exemplary critical biography of one of our greatest writers.


Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., Bookpage