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But her health and marriage were deteriorating. She had had various health problems since she was a child, and she and her husband drank constantly and fought often. Beginning when she was 24, she had a series of strokes — the first one left her partially paralyzed — and over the years she had serious bouts of strep throat and the flu, lung problems, a nervous breakdown, and breast cancer. She and her husband got divorced, then remarried; but in 1953, her husband asked her to take part in a double suicide with him, and she refused but he killed himself anyway.

— If you’ve ever read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and wondered whether you’d ever read anything sadder than that, try the actual life of Carson McCullers.

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