The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940) is the debut novel by American author Carson McCullers; she was 23 at the time of publication. It is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the US state of Georgia.
Frederic I. Carpenter wrote in The English Journal that the novel "essentially[...] described the struggle of all these lonely people to come to terms with their world, to become members of their society, to find human love—in short, to become mature."
The title comes from the poem "The Lonely Hunter" by the Scottish poet William Sharp, who used the pseudonym "Fiona MacLeod". “Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still, but my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.”