"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" is a novel by Carson McCullers, published in 1940. It is set in a small Southern town and tells the story of a group of outcasts who are searching for connection and meaning in their lives. The central character is John Singer, a deaf-mute who serves as a kind of confidant for the other characters. The novel explores themes of loneliness, isolation, and the human need for connection. It is known for its portrayal of the inner lives of its characters and its depiction of the social and racial tensions of the time period. It has received widespread critical acclaim for its lyrical prose and its portrayal of the human need for connection and understanding.